About Us

We Are Anchor

Welcome To ANCHOR

The name ANCHOR was selected to represent the new name of the Vaughan African Canadian Association (VACA). In 2020, during the racial pandemic that swept across the globe, we found out the city of Vaughan was named after “Benjamin Vaughan”, who owned slaves in Jamaica and fought against emancipation, refusing to emancipate his slaves.


He was given the distinction of having a City named in his honour because of the financial gains he made as an enslaver. The City of Vaughan was named to honour all the plantations he had and the success he achieved enslaving Jamaican slaves in the 1800’s. After learning who Benjamin was, it was clear we could not have that name associated with our organization. We therefore made the decision to remove the name Vaughan from our organization. We could not have the name “Vaughan” associated with an organization fighting for the Black community. The name ANCHOR stands for an organization that is grounded in the work of the Black community. An ANCHOR protects the ship. It keeps it safe. It stays grounded and creates a buffer between outside forces and the ship. It remains steady. It cannot be moved or swayed.

About Us

About Us

What Makes Us Different

Trust Us

ANCHOR is a community organization embedded in community. We strive to maintain a grassroots organization of national significance. We work with all levels of government and provide programs and services that reach all segments of our demographic. We strive to make a sustainable impact in our community and champion human rights, equity and anti-Black racism.

Definition of ANCHOR

: a device usually of metal attached to a ship or boat by a cable and cast overboard to hold it in a particular place by means of a fluke that digs into the bottom

: a reliable or principal support : MAINSTAY

a quarterback who has been the anchor of the team's offense

: something that serves to hold an object firmly

a bolt-and-nut cable anchor

: an object shaped like a ship's anchor

: the member of a team (such as a relay team) that competes last

: a large business (such as a department store) that attracts customers and other businesses to a shopping center or mall

transitive verb


: to hold in place in the water by an anchor

anchor a ship

: to secure firmly : FIX

anchor a post in concrete

The name ANCHOR was selected to represent the new name of the Vaughan African Canadian Association after finding out that the city that whose name we bear, was named after Benjamin Vaughan, who was a wicked slavemaster in Jamaica who fought against emancipation, refusing to emancipate his slaves. In fact, Benjamin Vaughan believed slavery was “good” for Black people. After finding out about the truth behind the name of the city of Vaughan, our organization lobbied trustees and the York Region District School Board to rename a local high school that was named Vaughan Secondary School. September, 2020 we waited over four hours during a Board meeting with Trustees as they voted in support of removing the name Vaughan from the high school and renaming the school after someone deserving of that honour and recognition.  After removing the name Vaughan from the high school, we refocused our efforts on our grand re-naming ceremony.

Why did we choose the name ANCHOR?  It wasn’t just the fact that the acronym worked for what we have been doing for over a decade. The word ANCHOR is a word that describes the work that we do and the importance of our organization to the Black community in Ontario.

An ANCHOR is stable, it cannot be moved, it keeps the vessel grounded, safe and digs in to make sure that no turbulence will shake the vessel. We are an organization firmly planted in the history and culture of Africa, with our dedication to the fight against hate, oppression and racism our focus.  We are ANCHOR and we will remain the constant in a sea of changing tides.

Our communities need a collective effort to fight against hate groups, oppression and racism. We are a progressive coalition of individuals and organizations committed to empowering Black communities through civic engagement, community mobilization, and campaigns that turn our issues into policies that change people's lives.

We have faith that a society grounded in the principles of justice and equity is possible.  But to get there, we have to collectively tackle the issues that impact our communities and ensure that elected advance a progressive policy agenda that addresses the underlying, structural barriers to equity and justice for all of society. We are building an African-Canadian Cultural and Community Center in Ontario, and then every Province after that. We know that currently one does not exist. We need to put the same level of energy into the Black community a we do in every other community. We need spaces for our children and families to flourish. We need our community organizations and charities to have a physical office space and program space. Help us Build and Join Us.

Get To Know Us

Our Board Members

Board Members

Greg Plantlitz

Johanne Konan

(Services Français)

Marcie Boothe

Coach Ro Russell

"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”

- Bantu Stephen Bilko

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”

- Bob Marley

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines whimpering and complaining, you make progress by implementing ideas.”

– Shirley Chisholm

“Do the best you can until you know better, then when you know better, do better.”

- Maya Angelou

“Until the Lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.”

- African proverb

“Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

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Meet the Team


Shernett Martin

Executive Director

David Grant

Executive Assistant

Fitz Gordon

National Director

Yonathan Kristos

Marketing Director

Efia Sakyiwaa

Social Media Director

David Ofori

Youth Coordinator

Mohan Beckford

IT Specialist

Janvier Kemone

Director, Skills Development & Apprenticeship

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Our Partners