All of the information on this page comes from the Matter of Black & Black Owned 905 social media, as well as migrant workers activism happening in the region. The above image was created by Chance Mutuku. The only role OPIRG Brock plays is in supporting the work of these community organizers by sharing them through our platforms.
The History of Emancipation Day in St. Catharines
Historically, the annual Emancipation Day Picnic was said to have rivalled only Christmas as the high point in the lives of Black Canadians living in Niagara. And from 1924 until the early 1970s, as many as 8,000 people could be expected to converge at Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie to attend the "Big Picnic" each year. People came from Toronto to Owen Sound and throughout the Great Lakes region, with some even travelling from Virginia and Tennessee in the U.S. to attend.
Emancipation Day has been part of St. Catharines history since 1924 and leadership from the local Black community and many partner organizations is bringing it back to centre stage. The Niagara community is once again invited to join in on the celebration and are encouraged to share their participation with the #EmancipationDaySTC.
Ways to support & keep up to date:
Listen to Freedom: A Community Mixtape.
Coordinated by Marcel Stewart at Suitcase In Point, Freedom is an audio mixtape of original songs, stories, poems, anecdotes, and spoken word pieces from folx living in the Niagara Region.
“This movement is designed to support and uplift black owned businesses in Niagara, and surrounding areas. We will be hosting local and virtual black markets to showcase and support black entrepreneurs.” via the @BlackOwned905 Instagram
Sign the #StatusForAll Petition
call on the government to take this historic opportunity to work with migrant-led groups to regularize (give permanent resident status) to all undocumented people and ensure permanent resident (PR) status for all 1.7 million migrants.