Below, we answer a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive.
What does the acronym nacca mean?
Newmarket (community) African (continent) Caribbean (islands) Canadian (country) Association (relationship). This refers to the connection of the Black diaspora in our community, regardless of their origin. It also signals the diversity of Black identities in our community.
Is NACCA an exclusive organization?
We operate from the centre of Blackness, Black consciousness and Black experiences. We are working to build our community from the inside out. The Association welcomes any person of like mind who is committed to our goals and objectives. We believe in building a strong community for the benefit of all.
Is NACCA only for youth?
As a full-fledged community based organization we cater to the entire family: men, women, children and youth. We officially launched in the Newmarket Community on February 9, 2019 with our first event, “Still I Rise: Celebrating Stories of Strength, Courage and Innovation,” and we have only began to scratched the surface of the work that needs to be done in terms of programming and advocacy. Legacy building work takes time.
Are you affiliated with any of the other black community organizations in York Region?
As members of the Black diaspora, we share a collective history and similar mandate with other like-minded community-based organizations, however, NACCA operates as an independent entity according to the dynamics of our community and the corresponding needs of the people we serve.
What do you mean by an anti-oppression and anti-black racism?
We believe that there are present-day institutional policies, structures, practices and behaviors that are specifically aimed at the people of African descent which are discriminatory and which comes out of our distinct historical experience of slavery and colonialism. These practices create attitudes and beliefs that are upheld to protect the power structure of institutions and often appear as invisible. The effect on the people of African descent encompasses a range of experiences of trauma, hardship and inequality that we experience on a daily basis. Although Canada prides itself on being a multicultural society, we know that marginalization and isolation of the "other" is pervasive and show up in virulent forms in various sectors of our community and country. This is the understanding that an anti-Black racism and anti-oppression analysis underscores.
How much influence does the Town have over your operation, vision and mission?
The Town plays a strong supportive role in helping us to build capacity and has been keenly interested in the discourse and dialogue that we share. Although we have partnered with the Town on particular initiatives– governance, operation and direction of the organization is steered by NACCA’s executive board.
How will you support parent advocacy in the school boards and Children’s Aid Society (CAS)?
We understand that the people who suffer the most from alienation, silencing and repeated systematic oppression are those from marginalized groups like the Black community. We also understand that in order to break down systems of oppression, we must work together. This means that we will need to form partnerships and alliances at all levels (community, municipal and regional) with the common goal of “respect for justice and human rights” (UNESCO). NACCA has partnered with Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association (MACCA), York Region Alliance of African Canadian Communities (YRAACC) and Black Foundation of Community Network (BFCN) to support students in the York Region District School Board (YRDSB). We are consistently working to ensure that Black youth and children thrive in those spaces where they lack visibility and protection.