The Black Equity in Alberta Rainforest (The BEAR)

Anti-Black racism acts as a barrier for African Caribbean Black (ACB) Canadians’ involvement in securing the health, wealth and well being of the community, our involvement in arts and culture, and employment, as well as barriers to justice as negative relationships are created between communities and criminal justice systems.


To Achieve Health Equity between African,Caribbean, Black (ABC) people and those who are ot Afican,Caribbean, Black 


Health inequity is rooted in a number of systemic issues, especially economic disparities and barriers to justice, employment, civic leadership, academia and, of course, healthcare. Many of these compounding factors disproportionately affect Black people and communities. Taking this previous knowledge into consideration, we participated in meaningful community conversations with ACB individuals to further understand the impact of health equities on a personal level. We learned and affirmed that right here and right now, poverty, intergenerational conflicts, family and community fragmentation, an overall lack of safe spaces and a need for strengthening community action all lead to problems in health equity for Black Canadians. These issues, however, are not being adequately addressed by existing community institutions. Therefore, Ribbon Rouge created a Leadership Caucus which determined some of the most important factors for meeting those needs and achieving health equity. The ACB Caucus helped guide and develop our Black Equity in Alberta Rainforest(B.E.A.R) initiative. 


The B.E.A.R is a holistic socially-innovative community initiative designed to mobilize data and research to bring meaningful change in Black health equity. The vision is to create a collaborative environment where knowledge, resources and connections are shared to close racial gaps. Through this initiative and co- collaboration with researchers and graduate interns at accredited post- secondary institutions, we will generate the crucial information and research we need to understand the effects of anti- black racism on health equity. Specifically, the B.E.A.R is designed to understand how resources and initiatives already existing in multiple organizations and institutions provincially can be better aligned to effect positive change, particularly in closing identified racial disparities in Alberta. From the research compiled, 13 essential interdisciplinary reports will be produced which will be translated into multimedia documents such as infographics, research posters and much more.


Through the B.E.A.R, we have co- created many sub projects with goals that reflect and mirror our organization as a whole. These sub projects are as follows:

  • Subproject 1: Quantifying and Qualifying Black Health Inequity
  • Subproject 2: Evaluation
  • Subproject 3: Stakeholder Engagement
  • Subproject 4: ArtSpace
  • Subproject 5: Community Development for HIV-related Equity
  • Subproject 6: Journey Mapping Justice
  • Subproject 7 : Community Asset Mapping
  • Subproject 8: Prototypes for Black Equity
  • Subproject 9: Knowledge Synthesis, Incubating and Embedding Prototypes in the B.E.A.R

Within the BEAR we are aiming for:

Black Data Governance

Justice for People Living with HIV

Create awareness and provide information on sexual health

Justice for Black Youth as it relates to mental health and interacting health/justice systems navigation

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