We hope you are doing well and staying safe during these times of pandemic and isolation. Maintaining connections as a community and providing mutual support is more important than ever.
In our last email we updated you on the completion of our draft terms of reference (TOR) and the start of discussions for formal relationships with our sponsor agencies. Since then, we have made some significant progress.
Formalized the TOR and changed our name to the Black Gay Mens Network of Ontario
Started discussions with GMSH regarding a formal relationship and a memorandum of understanding
Successfully secured funding to support 1 year of activities from the OHTN with the potential to extend to 18 months if successful
Signed an operating agreement with Black CAP as the agency that will provide us with physical space and administrative support for the work funded by the OHTN
Launched our website (BGMN.ca)
Grew our social media following organically. While our following is still small, ~320 followers across Facebook and Instagram, it continues to grow daily. We also created the BGMN Facebook page for those folks who are concerned about joining the public group.
Held our first trial series of events funded by GMSH and ACCHO in Toronto and Ottawa
Sponsored a recurring party series (Grown and Sexy) targeted at the mature crowd
Launched our first individual profile series on FB. To be revamped and expanded
Immediate future Plans:
We are very excited to host a series of 20 events over 12 months across Ontario aimed at building strong sustained communities among black queer men to increase levels of connectedness, reduce alienation, combat stigma, and positively impact health outcomes. Our goal is to make the events fun and engaging, while aligning to our core focus areas. Funding has been provided by the OHTN and Black CAP will support us with space and administrative help. We realize that the immediate pandemic situation does not allow for in person events and so we will move as much activity online as possible. Stay tuned for updates via FB, Instagram and email.
A revamped weekly mini profile series launching on Facebook and Instagram
More online features such as playlists, dance parties, etc. to help you break the monotony of being isolated during this time and hopefully add a little joy to you day
Here is what we need from you:
Volunteers from across Ontario to join our organizing committee and help us execute our events. There are lot of exciting opportunities available to assist with planing and executing online events, panels, picnics, parties, etc. Come join the fun. Email if you are interested
Engage with us and Participate. Join our Facebook group, follow up on Instagram and visit our website regularly. We’ve seen an uptick with people posting and commenting online and this is really encouraging. Please continue to share stories, comment, argue, laugh and just generally engage and build this community
Send us Your Ideas for things that you would like to see from the network and how we can support you as black queer men in the province. Currently only 3 people are actively planning so we need additional volunteers and new ideas to keep things fresh
Thank you, stay safe, and stay Involved