As a Black-led organization, we strive to build pillars rooted in our history, the culture, and the people.
Our family may consist of our birth family, or the family we adopted in our lives. Our family unit may often serve as the foundation of our identity and our home. Black families incorporate family to include kin, neighbor, friend, and relative. We have a duty and responsibility to our community to care for our family unit, and respons to their need, even when it means sacrificing ourselves. At Kujenga, we understand family, and we promote and support you to build a healthy family foundation.
The Black community has endured centuries of racism, slavery segregation, inequality, and systemic racism. But still we rise. Our story never started with hatred and brutality, our story began with creation of the world. Our community is strong, resourceful, resilient and purposeful. We acknowledge the impact of anti-Black racism upon our lives. We actively seek and advocate for equity. We work towards reducing barriers in our own practice, and seek inclusive and equitable outcomes for our community members.
Three words: #Black Lives Matter Our Lives Matter. We will relentlessly advocate for equities in health, income, education, social systems, mental health, employment, food, and working conditions.
There are many ways our education system creates inequity for our children, leading to poorer outcomes in school. We hope to support parents and children navigate systemic oppression, and advocate for their needs within the classroom, the school and the Board. We will offer educational options that enhances representation and cultural knowledge.
A community that comes together, marches together, and builds changes together. Advocacy is a collaborative process to achieve the best outcomes for the family, the community and our nation.
The social determinants of health impact the quality of an individual’s life, their outcomes, any barriers to their success, and life expectancy. According to the Canadian for Mental Health Association (CMHA), the social determinants of health include:
- Aboriginal status
- Early life
- Employment and working conditions
- Food insecurity
- Health services
- Gender and gender identity
- Income and income distribution
- Sexual orientation
- Social exclusion
- Social safety net
- Unemployment and job security
Black individuals and families have a higher risk and experience barriers in achieving many of these determinants of health. Through navigation services and information, Kujenga will support families and individuals to access the support they require and improve their overall outcomes.
Our mental health matters! We were told that Black people are strong because we have endured so much, and are still standing. We were told that crazy defined people who were weak. Those people just needed Jesus and allowed Satan to win. Let. Us. Unpack. Let’s redefine mental health, normalize mental unwellness, and reduce the stigma. Through Kujenga, we will provide supports that will address healing mental health and raising consideration for how we can incorporate mental wellness into our lives, our families, and communities.