Press Release

December 11, 2006

10 Toronto organizations to receive funds to help fight youth violence

TORONTO – The first recipients of the African-Canadian Christian Network (ACCN) grants to churches and community organizations for projects to help youth live lives free of violence were announced at a news conference today.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our volunteers from various sectors of the community who had the unenviable task of reviewing 60 proposals to select the 10 recipients we are announcing today,” said ACCN co-chair Pastor Alvin Nicholson. “We take this opportunity to again thank the Ontario government for its support and interest in addressing the troubling issue of violence among our youth.” (Please see list of grant recipients on the attached fact sheet).

Earlier this year, the McGuinty government announced a grant to ACCN of $3 million over two years to assist Black Church and community groups foster and enhance programs for Black youth in under-served areas find alternatives to violence. The Toronto Community Foundation is partnering with ACCN as their financial Trustee.

Premier Dalton McGuinty and Children and Youth Services Minister Mary Anne Chambers were on hand to congratulate the grant recipients.

"Today's announcement isn't just about an investment of dollars in programs, it's an investment of hope," said Premier McGuinty. "The hope we have when we see how much potential our young people have, and the hope that is realized every time one of our young people reaches that fork in the road and chooses the path of opportunity and a brighter future."

The projects that have been approved for ACCN funding will assist youth in under-served communities across the GTA from Etobicoke in the west to Scarborough in the east.

"Young people, especially those who do not enjoy access to strong community supports, have told us they need more opportunities to help them overcome the significant challenges they face," said Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers. "Our government shares the African-Canadian Christian Network's commitment to our youth and to building stronger communities."

The event took place at the First Baptist Church Toronto, the oldest Black congregation in the city, which is celebrating its 180th anniversary this year.

“We are committed to building our community’s capacity to address this very pressing issue” said First Baptist Church pastor and ACCN co-chair Pastor Michael Morris. “We are truly excited about the groundswell of support we are receiving from those willing to invest in our youth and encourage others to join with us as we continue to offer hope to our young people and their families and healing to our community.”

ACCN will issue its next call for proposals in January 2007.

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Previous Releases


Pastor Michael Morris
Co-Chair, Coalition of Christian Leaders

Pastor Alvin Nicholson
Co-Chair, Coalition of Christian Leaders

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