Leading the way

Leading the way

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This is a guest post from Halifax Partnership
(Member since 1996)

Contributors:

Irvine Carvery
Dolly Williams
Co-Chairs of the African Nova Scotian (ANS) Road to Economic Prosperity Advisory Committee

Economic development for the African Nova Scotian (ANS) community matters for all of Halifax and Nova Scotia. While Halifax has demonstrated strong and continuous economic growth over the past 10 years, African Nova Scotians in our city and province have not equally benefitted, and our communities and residents continue to be impacted by growing socioeconomic disparity.

Over the years, there has been government and private sector support for community economic development initiatives within the African Nova Scotian community. But there has never been a concerted effort or strategy dedicated to improving the economic wellbeing and prosperity of African Nova Scotians. That is, until now.

The Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan is a five-year collaborative strategy. It’s developed and owned by African Nova Scotians to advance economic development and community priorities, and to coordinate, align, and bring greater awareness to work already being done in the ANS community.

This plan is the first of its kind. Most of us in the community have lived through versions of this work, but this is the first time it has been put together as a formal economic plan for the ANS community and endorsed by both the community and government.

The Advisory Committee leading this work includes 15 members representing each Black community in HRM, community organizations involved in economic development or capacity building, resources and support persons from primary agencies, and youth and elder representation.

ANS community members participated in several consultations to develop the plan and identified key issues, opportunities and themes which informed the three five-year strategic priorities:

1. Build unity and capacity among African Nova Scotians

2. Establish land ownership, develop infrastructure and attract investment

3. Increase participation in education, employment and entrepreneurship

The plan was presented and endorsed by HRM Regional Council in September – an important step in demonstrating that this work is seen as a priority and is supported by local government.

While the plan is specifically built for the ANS community, it helps build success for all. It aims to close employment and housing gaps, increase collaboration and investment, and improve economic and quality of life outcomes for the ANS community.

Without economic progress, a group will perish. When we are successful, we will have addressed decades and centuries of systemic and institutional barriers that have prevented growth in our communities.

We want a healthy and prosperous future for our community, both locally and provincially. And we hope to inspire and lay the groundwork for a Canada-wide agenda.

There is a role for everyone to play in supporting this critical work. We welcome and encourage engagement and dialogue from the business community.

To learn how your business can get involved, contact us:

- Irvine Carvery

irvine.carvery@halifax.ymca.ca

- Dolly Williams

dollywilliams6@gmail.com

- Carolann Wright, Director of Capacity Building & Strategic Initiatives, African Nova Scotia Communities at Halifax Partnership

cwright@halifaxpartnership.com

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