The annual summit 2023
The annual Summit is a gathering of leaders from the Black Francophone and Anglophone, Haitian, African and Caribbean communities, which take place every last Saturday of January.
Together, researchers, academics, parents, students, social entrepreneurs, business people, community leaders and practitioners, professionals and concerned citizens focus their attention on the concerns of Quebec’s Black communities in general, and youth in particular.
It is also an opportunity for the leaders of the Summit to report back to the Black communities on their various activities and initiatives.
Panel 1 - Environmental issues in the era of inclusion
Black communities are still insufficiently considered in environmental debates and associated public policies. This panel intends to contribute to filling this gap by giving a voice to members of black communities involved in the search for solutions for an effective and just ecological transition. Claudia Gbetholancy's intervention will clarify the context introduced here by drawing on the notion of environmental racism and giving an overview of the impact of climate change on black communities and young people in particular. Concrete examples from across Canada and Quebec will be presented. It will also discuss the role of different levels of government in implementing public policies to face these environmental challenges. Leila Cantave will intervene in continuity regarding the undertaking of concrete actions. To do this, she will draw on her experience as an activist and manager of a community organization whose mission is to support the environmental leadership of black communities, particularly that of gender minorities – women, transgender women, and non-binary people. Alix Adrien will chair the panel.
Claudia Gbetholancy, Policy Analyst
With a bachelor's degree in geographic science and a master's in urban planning, Claudia works as a policy analyst at Canada's Department of Environment and Climate Change. She helps develop policies to ensure that climate change's effects are considered in federal decisions. Claudia Gbetholancy has been involved with community associations by and for young people throughout her career. She has also worked as a consultant on numerous infrastructure projects to support the resilience of vulnerable communities in Canada and internationally in the face of the impacts of climate change.
Leïla Cantave, Co-founder of Black Eco Bloom
Leïla Cantave holds a McGill University bachelor's degree in international development, economics, and environmental studies. Her interest in social justice naturally grew to incorporate an intersectional approach into her ecological and climate justice activism. In recent years, she has focused a lot on the issue of environmental inequalities not only on a global scale but also on a national scale. In 2022, she co-created the non-profit organization Black Eco Bloom to promote Black women's leadership in the environmental sector and develop solutions to support Black communities worldwide disproportionately affected by climate change.
Alix Adrien, President of Qbbe, member of the Administrative Council of the Afro Youth Summit
Alix Adrien has been involved in the black English-speaking community from a young age. Throughout his career in education, Alix has often been called upon to mentor his students, always focusing on their growth and academic development. He is considered a source of wisdom, knowledge, and support. Since joining the Council of Black Educators of Quebec (QBBE) in 1986, Alix has enabled many young people to play an active and leadership role in their community through education and sport. Alix sits on several boards, including the Interministerial Table on Education (ILET), the Canadian Alliance of Black Educators (CABE), and the Afro Youth Summit.
Panel 2 – Racial profiling, a social justice issue
This panel aims to explore the issues, challenges, and possible solutions related to racial profiling in Quebec by mobilizing the expertise of scientific, community, and legal circles. Maxim Fortin will look at the context that allowed the emergence in Quebec of a repressive and discriminatory legal framework used in the 1990s against marginalized young people and then against black and racialized populations from 2000 to 2010. Then, Rosie Kasongo presents the dynamics of community organizations in Quebec around the issue of racial profiling. Finally, Me Fernando Belton will discuss the difficulty of proving racial profiling in Canadian law in light of the Luamba decision. He will share some observations, reflections, and possible solutions. Marjorie Villefranche will chair the panel.
Maxim Fortin, Coordinator at the League of Rights and Freedoms, and researcher member of the Administrative Council of IRIS
Maxim Fortin is a political scientist by training and holds a political science doctorate at Laval University. His favorite subjects of study are social movements, philanthropy, community action, and public policies, particularly those affecting education, poverty, and rights and freedoms. He taught political science from 2005 to 2012 in the college network. He is currently the coordinator of the Quebec section of the League of Rights and Freedoms and a research member of the Institute for Socio-Economic Research and Information (IRIS) board of directors.
Rosie Kasongo, co-coordinator of Collectif 1629 and member of the Administrative Council of the Afro Youth Summit
Rosie Kasongo is co-coordinator of Collectif 1629. Rosie holds a master's degree in international development management and humanitarian action and a bachelor's degree in political science from Laval University. She is involved in several causes, notably in anti-racist and feminist movements and youth movements.
Fernando Belton, lawyer and president of the Saint-Michel Legal Clinic
Maître Belton is a lawyer in criminal and penal law. A graduate of the University of Quebec in Montreal in legal sciences and holder of a certificate in history, he entered the legal profession in 2015.
Following his internship at the Montreal Municipal Court, he developed an interest in negotiating disputes over traffic violations. A skilled litigator, he represents clients before several courts, including Municipal Court and Superior Court.
He has been a member of the Bar since 2015. Mr. Fernando Belton practices in criminal law and a firm he founded. Sensitive to current social issues, he is the president and co-founder of the Saint-Michel Legal Clinic (CJSM), where he notably coordinates the racial profiling team. There is no doubt that commitment plays a significant role in the impressive professional career of this young lawyer.
Marjorie Villefranche, General Director of Maison d'Haïti and member of the Administrative Council of the Afro Youth Summit
Director General of Maison d'Haïti and specialist in the history of the Haitian community, Marjorie Villefranche is the general director of Maison d'Haïti. She is at the forefront of the news for her involvement in the fight against racism and discrimination. The energy she puts into advancing the issues of immigrant women and undocumented immigrants is flawless. A specialist in the history of the Haitian community, in 2014, she participated in the Immigration Stories project led by UQAM and Bibliothèque et Archives nationaux du Québec.
She has been honored with several awards, including City Builder 2017; Personality of the Week, La Presse and Radio-Canada, in 2012; Woman of Distinction, Education category, from the YWCA Foundation, 2008.
More than 250 people attended the presentations, panels and Q&A sessions throughout the day.
Upcoming annual Summit Announced!
Join us on January 27, 2024.
The next edition will take place on
This event is made possible thanks to the financial support of the the Quebec Youth Secretariat.