Programs for the African Nova Scotian community must be tailored to address systemic racism and current realities of sexual violence. Programs geared to the general public are often not culturally safe for African Nova Scotians. There are also limited numbers of professionals who represent the ANS community.
The small number of ANS initiatives to address sexual violence listed here does not reflect the need for culturally specific and safe programming and services. There is a need for sustainable and predictable funding to continue to build on these initiatives.
Pathways 2 Justice
Nova Scotia Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) and Be the Peace Institute (BTPI) have received 3 years of funding from Status of Women Canada (SWC) to explore how women who have experienced gendered violence define “justice” in their particular circumstances, and how to use restorative and trauma informed lenses, gender-based intersectional analysis, and women’s leadership to identify and implement pathways to achieving that justice.
Let’s Talk: Culturally Appropriate Workshop Series Targeting Sexualized Violence in the ANS Community
The ABSW will also be providing a culturally appropriate workshop series, delivered with an Africentric perspective, focused on educating the African Nova Scotian community about sexualized violence. The workshop themes will include, healthy relationships, boundaries, anger and conflict management.
Sexual Violence Prevention Grant: Engage Me!
The African United Baptist Association (AUBA) and In My Own Voice (iMOVe) Arts Association partnered to lead a project for youth called "Engage me!" This project brought together 10 African Nova Scotian youth to develop critical thinking/media literacy around race and gender and explore how it intersects with sexualized violence. After a series of workshops on topics such as consent, healthy relationships, culture, and gender roles, the youth developed a video about their learnings. This video will be used on an ongoing basis to spark discussion.
Sexual Violence Prevention Grant: Taking a Step Back to Go Forward
The East Preston Family Resource Center (EPFRC) took a group of African Nova Scotian youth aged 14 to 17 on tours to the Africville Museum and the Black Cultural Centre to teach them about their heritage and culture. The goal was to develop a sense of pride and build self esteem by teaching the youth about how resilient their ancestors and relatives were. EPFRC then partnered with the East Preston Recreation Centre to display a mural of artwork created by the youth to represent who they are as African Nova Scotians. The mural was unveiled at a Gala Night of Youth, which offered a silent auction and live performances. The event was to highlight ANS youth and their artistic talents. EPFRC wanted ANS youth to see their value and to invest in themselves.
The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry was launched in 2015 and is working to reveal and address part of the harmful legacy of racism in Nova Scotia by examining the Home and the experiences of former residents, as well as the impact on their families and communities. The Restorative Inquiry is looking at the past with a focus on future solutions: not only preventing further harm, but making meaningful changes that will help us treat each other more justly and equitably in the future.