The Black population is cited as the 2nd largest ethnic group in Hamilton with more than 16,000 identifying themselves as blacks (2006 Stats Canada census). However, the absence of blacks from the decision-making process is less than impressive. Because of this glaring gap, the issues and needs of the diverse black population often gets ignored or minimized.
The presence of regional/ethno-specific cultural groups in the black population is ever present. These groups tend to focus their voluntary resources on cultural retention, bonding (connections with members of their own ethnic group) and issues "back home."
Subsequent meetings were held with members of the black community including leaders from various cultural (Black/African/Caribbean) associations to determine their interest in forming a unified group that would not replace their current groups, but rather add a needed “political” voice that would represent the interest of the broad and diverse black community.
Through a series of community meetings and brainstorming sessions with a broad cross section of people from the diverse black communities, it was decided that the group be formed. After much discussion, the name African Canadian Action Congress was approved.