Black History Month 2023
February is Black History Month. Both Federal and Provincial governments recognize the importance of Black History Month. As Canadians and, more importantly, as a Catholic Community, we are called to live in solidarity. Solidarity requires that we learn from, and about our brothers and sisters in Christ. Regardless of the demographics of your school community, Black History is a conversation we must all be present to as it is everyone’s history. We invite you to explore the following resources to deepen your understanding of the contributions of Black Canadians both past and present.
Why a Black History Month?
"The celebration of Black History Month is an attempt to have the achievements of Black people recognized and told. We need a Black History Month in order to help us to arrive at an understanding of ourselves as Canadians in the most accurate and complete socio-historical context that we can produce. As a nation with such diversity, all histories need to be known, all voices need to be expressed. Black history provides the binary opposite to all traditional histories. One needs traditional history to engender a common culture; one needs Black history to engender a clearer and more complete culture.” Read more from Rosemary Sadlier
Black History Month 2023 at the DPCDSB:
We are Many, We are One: Connected Through Stories
At the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, the theme for Black History Month 2023 is "We are Many, We are One, Connected Through Stories". This theme merges the theme for Catholic Education Week with the Federal Government of Canada's theme "Ours to Tell".
This year, the Department of Equitable and Inclusive Education at the DPCDSB has focused on uplifting identity affirming texts within schools. This Black History Month, all staff and students are invited to join a speaker series, including author talks, that allow students and staff to hear the stories of Black Canadians in their own voices.
Throughout the school year and in February, Black History Month, the Department of Equitable and Inclusive Education is pleased to offer an author series that honors diverse ways of knowing and being. Stories make us who we are. They help us to understand the world around us. Stories that are shared can be passed down and hold rich knowledge and truths; they bring us joy and teach us lessons and include listening to and recounting oral histories, parables, stories and proverbs. Skills gained from storytelling include: memorization, attention to detail, dramatic pauses, comedic timing, facial effect, vocal tone, volume, rhythm and rhyme. The focus of this author series is to highlight stories that have gone unheard and to offer a counternarrative. As Chimananda Ngozi Adichie states, "stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.
In this author series, through the sharing of stories, educators and students will learn through imagination and information about the importance of unheard stories.
All DPCDSB staff and students are invited to join us in the events listed below:
January 31, 2023: Khodi Dill: Educator Talk
February 8, 2023: Nadia L. Hohn: FDK - Grade 3, Malaika's Winter Carnival
February 21, 2023: Toks Ayinla: Grades 9 - 12, Through my Brown Eyes
February 23, 2023: Khodi Dill: Grades 4- 8, Welcome to the Cypher
February 24, 2023: Shayle Graham: Grades 9 - 12, Representation in S.T.E.M.
Registration information is available on SharePoint (Employee Login Required)
Black Futures Speakers Series
Each February, the DPCDSB's Department of Equitable and Inclusive Education offers the Black Futures Speakers Series. These pre-recorded interviews offer educators and students an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the contributions of Black Canadians.
This year's speaker series has expanded to include interviews with:
Brandon Wint - poet and spoken word artist
Shayle Graham - educator, activist, and founder of Black E.S.T.E.E.M.
Khodi Dill - author, spoken word artist, and educator
All interviews are available on SharePoint (Employee Login Required)
Resources for DPCDSB Educators include:
Black History Month Best Practices
Black History Month and Beyond Resources (Employee Login Required)
Identity Affirming Resources (Employee Login Required)
Additional resources that support learning about Black History include:
The Government of Canada website Houses many resources that can support learning about the stories of Black Canadians
The City of Brampton has events planned that families can attend this month
The City of Mississauga is hosting events that families can attend this month
Kayak Magazine offers stories about Black History in Canada
The Periodic Table of Canadian Black History offers a place to learn about the stories and contributions of Black Canadians
Nia Centre for the Arts is a Toronto based not-for-profit organization that supports and promotes learning about Black History through the arts of the African Diaspora
The Spadina Museum is hosting the Dis/Mantle exhibit by artist Gordon Shadrach
The Legacy Collection offers a new poster for Black History Month that celebrates Black Excellence
Historica Canada offers short 60-second videos highlighting significant contributions to Canadian Black History
Significant names include Jackie Shane, Chloey Cooley, Oscar Peterson and Viola Desmond, among others.
Black History Timelines
Article: How Rosemary Sadlier Convinced Canada to Recognize Black History Month
Celebrating Our Canadian History Poster: