United Way launches Black Community Advisory Council

February 12, 2010

MISSISSAUGA —More than 150 guests were greeted by the African drumming beats of the Breadfruit Lane Charity as they joined United Way today to launch its Black Community Advisory Council (BCAC) and celebrate Black History month.

The Black Community Advisory Council is one of three councils created by United Way to build and promote inclusion in Peel Region. The Council aims to identify and address key challenges and gaps in support services affecting Peel’s Black community, which numbers more than 95,000. The Council is comprised of people from different segments of Peel’s diverse Black community, which includes African, Caribbean, Canadian, and anyone whose ethnic or ancestral origins are in Africa. The 52 council members represent different sectors including business, health, education and the community.

“As we launch the United Way Black Community Advisory Council, I look forward to the capacity building in the community and the synergy that will be created by the work of the enthusiastic and dedicated members of the Council,” said BCAC Co-Chair Wanda Marsman. “It is a wonderful initiative and we encourage everyone to get involved and contribute to success and growth within the Black community and the community at large.”

Highlights from the launch included a dance performance by Aisha Nicholson, a monologue by 13-year-old Isiah Douglas, and the invitation for all guests to participate in the Electric Slide dance.

“We are very excited about this partnership which gives Peel’s diverse Black community a strong united voice in developing programs, services and initiatives that will help our community thrive,” said United Way CEO Shelley White.

To learn more about United Way’s Black Community Advisory Council, contact Sharon Smikle, Community Outreach Co-ordinator at (905) 602-3617 or or visit

The other two councils established by United Way are the Chinese Advisory Council which launched in 2007 and the South Asian Council which launched in 2009.

Media Contact:
Liz Leake
Communications and Marketing Director