This month, CIP celebrates Black History, and joins others from across the country in reflecting on the legacies of African, Black, and Caribbean Canadians. However, we know that it is not enough to simply learn about the past – we must also endeavour to grow from history in order to practice true allyship in our daily work and lives. With this year’s Black History Month theme, “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build”, CIP proudly supports the contributions and successes of Black planners and Canadians who continue to shape our communities in meaningful ways. By valuing their perspectives and the principles of community engagement, we remain dedicated to realizing our vision for inclusive and vibrant communities, respectfully connected to the natural world, for the well-being of current and future generations.”

Dan Huang RPP, MCIP
Canadian Institute of Planners

As part of our Strategic Plan—1,835 Days of Impact, CIP remains committed to pursuing More Equitable Planning, Together. We acknowledge that there remain critical gaps in the planning profession’s diverse representation and active inclusion and that historical planning practices have perpetuated injustices against Black populations. By encouraging the professional development of Black planners, and by advancing conversations on equitable planning practices, CIP is committed to learning from this history and working to be part of the solution.

Last year, CIP and the Ontario Professional Planners Institute observed Black History Month by collaborating with the Black Planners and Urbanists Association to host “Inhibited Growth: Examining Public Investment Gaps in Black Infrastructure Needs”. Moderated by Aimee Powell RPP, MCIP of Powell Planning & Associates, this webinar presented the research of the University of Toronto’s Infrastructure Institute and the Somali Centre for Culture and Recreation. While this webinar identifies the critical need for Black social infrastructure in Toronto, it contains relevant takeaways that can be applied to any community – we encourage all planning professionals to watch the free recording.

CIP and the Provincial and Territorial Institutes and Associations also released a public statement in recognition of the importance of Black Canadians’ stories and perspectives. We believe that by learning from the past and working together in community-building practices and processes, planners can create a better future for all.

In 2024, CIP will continue to seek opportunities to support Black planning professionals and to promote inclusive planning practices. This includes our partnership with Jay Pitter Placemaking, York University’s Institute for Social Research, and other community foundations on the upcoming Being Black in Public Survey, which will provide planners with the data they need to better serve Black Canadians, with a focus on all forms of safety in public spaces.

We encourage you to explore the various resources below to improve your understanding of Black Canadian history and to learn from Black experiences in navigating the built environment.


Black History Month in Canada

CIP Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Resources

OPPI Resources

Guides and Articles

Literary and Multimedia Resources