Human Services/MSM Prevention and Research Coordinator, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Toronto, ON. Born: Toronto, ON.
David Lewis-Peart is the MSM Prevention and Research Coordinator with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) in Toronto., and a graduate student at York University, where his focus of study is in Program Evaluation, Black MSM youth, and Community interventions.
David has worked as a trained social services counsellor and consultant over the past five years, with organizations such as the Metro Action Committee on Violence Against Women, Central Toronto Youth Services, the Center for Addictions and Mental Health (SAPACCY), LOFT community services, and Fife House. He is the author of Visibly Hidden: Rethinking BMSM and HIV Prevention, which has been used in the creation of programming and resources for young Black gay and bisexual men which includes the THINK print media campaign, Get The Low Down, and ‘Dealing with Being Different: A Coming Out Resource Booklet for Black LGBT Youth and their Families, a sexual health website for young Black gay and bisexual men. He also spearheaded the development of the Black Families and Friend (BFF) chapter of PFLAG Canada.
Outside of the social services field, David, a trained hypnotherapist, reiki practitioner, and life skills coach, has actively pursued training in ministry in the hopes of becoming a licenced new-thought pastor and family therapist. David intends continue to work within racialized and sexual minority communities combining both spirituality, and social work.
Honours: Recipient of the TD Canada LGBT Youthline Award for Achievement in Social Services and Anti-oppression (2008); Black Pride (Toronto) Hero Award (2009); honoured with a commemoration at Toronto Tourism’s “Northern Lights: African-Canadian Stories Exhibit” which recognizes the contributions of Black Torontonians over the last century (2010).
Works: Adaptation of the CDC’s Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) intervention, the first program of its kind for Black youth in Canada; recently named principal investigator of this project’s evaluation with a CBR research grant from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN).
Favourite book: Salvation: Black People and Love by bell hooks. It was one of my first reads of this author, and it came at a time when I began to take an active interest in doing personal and community work around self-love and healing. bell hooks provided a framework for understanding ‘love’ in a context that was familiar to me as a novice academic and community activist.
Favourite quote: bell hooks fittingly quotes the late Martin Luther King: “When I speak of love, I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of Life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? I would travel to Africa; Ghana, and Nigeria specifically.
Who inspires you? I am continually inspired by individuals such as Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, Minister Iyanla Vanzant, and Oprah Winfrey. Locally, I am inspired by the work of activist Douglas Stewart, and Rev. Aina-Nia who have both acted as friends and mentors in my personal journey and professional work.
Why do you do what you do? I do what I do, because of the many people along my life who have ensured that I didn’t fall through the cracks. My mother, teachers, youth workers, counsellors and pastors; who supported me during my younger years. Through them, I decided that a life dedicated to helping people through the challenging periods, was what I was meant to do to give back.