Honoured Dyke March Group 2012: Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre

Women’s Health In Women’s Hands (WHIWH) Community Health Centre provides Primary Healthcare to Black Women and Women of Colour from the Caribbean, African, Latin American and South Asian communities in Metropolitan Toronto and surrounding municipalities. WHIWH has been active in ensuring that the LBGT issues faced by Black women and women of color are included in public discourse, policy setting and program delivery, locally, nationally and internationally.  WHIWH CHC also consistently worked to develop comprehensive primary, sexual, mental and socio-economic health programs designed to improve equitable access to services for queer and trans communities. In 2011, WHIWH changed its mandate to include the provision on health care to the trans community; the only community health centre to date in Ontario to have done so. WHIWH have demonstrated leadership within the community and operated under an anti-oppressive framework.  Based on their continued commitment to inclusivity and social justice within the many communities they service, we are delighted to honour WHIWH as this year’s Honoured Group. 

The accomplishments of the programs WHIWH offers to the LGBT community are far-reaching and over the years, have moved from a local Toronto community health centre location to a position of global impact. Some of the major achievements of WHIWH are:

The development and dissemination of resources including:

  • “The Woman I Have Become” directed by Alison Duke, a documentary which chronicles the lives of 8 women of African and Caribbean descent living with HIV in Toronto  with an accompanying Discussion Guide Community Outreach and Event Sponsorship including:

  • Sponsorship and support to “Pleasure and Possibilities: A Free Community Sexual Health Conference fro LGBT Women (March 31st, 2012- Sherbourne Health Centre)

  • Sponsorship and support to “Queernament: A Rainbow Basketball Event”. Ryerson Gymnasium, May 26, 2012 (iAM Toronto)

  • Queer and Trans Woman’s Wellness Retreat. March 8, 2011, The 519 Church Street Community Health Centre.

Ground-breaking research projects including but not limited to:

  • Every Women Matters: A report on Accessing Primary Health Care for Black Women and Women of Colour in Ontario (including LGBT women)

  • The Pathways Research Project: Exploring emotional health, stress and depression among the LGBT community

Local, Provincial, National and International Advocacy and Networking including:

  • Spearheading the development of both the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario and  the international organization – African, Black, Diasporic Global Network .  WHIWH coordinated the first Queer panel for the African Diaspora at an International AIDS Conference in 2006.

The tireless work of WHIWH staff members in securing funding from various sources including the AIDS Bureau, City of Toronto, Trillium Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ford Foundation has provided the Centre with the leverage to deliver ground breaking research projects, develop original resources and deliver both chronic disease prevention initiatives to the community and treatment, support and care to women and trans people.

For more information, please visit the WHIWH website.

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About Dyke March Toronto

Mission: The 2015 Toronto Dyke March works to create dyke-centred spaces because we need — and demand — more visibility within the Pride Toronto Festival. Goals: Our goal is to organize a political and celebratory march, created by and for dykes across the spectrum. We need to create our own space to be political and visible. Dyke visibility is important because we are not fully represented in the Pride movement or in mainstream society. The Dyke March celebrates our diversity and demonstrates the power of our communities. We hope the Dyke March leaves you with the energy to take action, a sense of community, and an appreciation for your own unique dyke glory! Values: The Dyke March values collective organizing to give dykes who are historically oppressed a platform. These include, but are not limited to, trans folks, Indigenous folks, folks of colour and folks with disabilities. We see this as necessary to create social change.
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