ACSDC: AN UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION COMPRISING 36 AFRICAN COUNTRIES’ ORGANIZATIONS IN THE TORONTO AREA.
Article By Patrick Agyekum and Tom Kear..
Webmaster : Awa Vitalis Khan..
Photographer: Jonathan Annobil, The Ghanaian News..
On February 27 the first Black History event of the African-Canadian
Social Development Council took place in the North York Council Chamber in the Civic Centre on Yonge Street. The African-Canadian Social Development Council’s main objective is to promote co-operation and unity amongst all members of the African-Canadian community in Toronto.
The President of the ACSDC, Sam Asante, welcomed the participants and audience. He stated that the ACSDC is an umbrella organization comprising 36 African countries’ organizations in the Toronto area. He appealed for unity amongst these various organizations.
Anna Aidoo, originally from Ghana, was the Master of Ceremonies for the gathering. She started the event at 7:00 p.m. with an invitation to the very a delicious catered dinner.
Following dinner, the meeting began with a cultural display and dance by the Ashanti King and Queen of Toronto and their entourage. This was followed by the Nigerian group entertaining the meeting with the exciting beat of drummers and the graceful movement of the dancers,
Larry Nnaji, a lady from Nigeria, gave an important presentation on Sickle-Cell Anemia. This disease is very common among African people.
Empress Aisha and friend thrilled the crowd singing a beautiful song. She followed this up by reading two inspiring poems, “Why do we do this” and “The right to write”.
Prof George Sefa Dei
Thomas Seshie, the Consul-General of Ghana in Toronto, expressed the need for Diasporans, persons living away from their original home country, to contribute to the development of their home countries.
Emmanuel Duodu, the President of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association encouraged the audience to be drivers of change in their communities!
The Keynote speaker, Ghanaian-born, Professor George Dei of the University of Toronto delivered an inspiring address on “Blackness and Anti-Racism”. George S. Dei, last November, became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the most prestigious award for a Canadian Academic Scholar.
The following quotes are from The Ghanaian News, February 2018 edition.
Dei “spoke candidly about Black and African peoples, our histories and contributions to society and the true meaning of Blackness in the context of the scourge of anti-Blackness and anti-Black racism. His remarks were well received by the audience.”
“Professor Dei reflected on the contribution of African peoples, our civilizations, the long Black presence in Canada and our collective responsibilities to build strong, viable communities in Canada. Professor Dei, noted how Black and African peoples’ contributions to Canada continue to be a very much untold story. There is Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad struggles of resistance and escape, as well as the Negro Citizenship Association fight for a bill of right and freedoms that were to inform our current constitutional rights as Canadians. He also noted the fact of how African slaves , “helped builder the frontier economy of upper Canada now Ontario” and the unflinching struggles of the Brotherhood of sleeping Car porters for collective agreement and fair wages for its members.”
The closing remarks of the evening were by Andrew Matemba, Vice-President of the African-Canadian Social Development Council.