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Black History Month

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Each February, we have an opportunity to recognize Black History Month so that we can focus on the history and achievements of people of African descent.

The month – recognized by the House of Commons in 1995, thanks to a motion by the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament the Honorable Jean Augustine – traditionally celebrates the contributions of Black Canadians who have made Canada the place it is today.

While this is an important occasion to recognize, we must also acknowledge how Black history has been marginalized. Too often, Canadian students learn about Black history in an American context, if they are learning about the subject at all.

The names of Black leaders like Lincoln Alexander, Ray Lewis and Bernie Custis sit atop some of our schools. But we must also reflect, and act on, what is happening inside our schools.

At HWDSB, we are committed to reducing barriers to learning so that we can improve equity of access and opportunity for Black students. We strive to create safe and caring learning environments that respect, promote, and protect the human rights of Black students.

Thanks to the leaders in our system, we are embedding Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppression teaching in our everyday curriculum through lessons in Learn.Disrupt.Rebuild@HWDSB: Building a Community of Care.

This is the kind of work that can result in lasting change, every month of the year.

Thank you for celebrating Black History Month, as one step in a journey toward inclusive and global education. Please explore some of the resources created and curated by our Equity and Well-being team, so that Black history becomes embedded in our practices all year long.

Sincerely,

Manny Figueiredo
Director of Education

Please be sure to share your recognition of Black history this month and beyond on social media channels, using hashtags such as #HWDSBweallbelong and #BlackHistoryMonth.

Resources:

Learn. Disrupt. Rebuild @HWDSB: Building a Community of Care
Thank you to all the members of the Learn.Disrupt.Rebuild @HWDSB: Building A Community of Care writing and editing team. Our system is being positively impacted by this important resource that was implemented in September, and continues to be our focus throughout this year.

The Canadian Encyclopedia
A program of Historica Canada is an online, free, bilingual, and interactive resource that gives students access to a range of learning tools, including thousands of fact-checked articles, primary sources, images, video, maps, timelines, quizzes, and education guides all related to Black history in Canada.

ETFO 365 Days and Ways to Celebrate Black History Poster
This poster showcases a prominent Black Canadian for each month of the year and is connected to  primary, junior, and intermediate curriculum available online. The lessons are available for both French and English classes and you can adapt for remote learning. There are many materials related to Black history and anti-Black racism on the main website.

Updated on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
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