Celebrating Black heritage is February focus for students in Oakville, Milton, Burlington

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Published February 2, 2024 at 11:11 am

Public school students in Milton, Burlington, Oakville and Halton Hills will have the chance to celebrate and honour the lives and contributions of Black Canadians, past and present, during Black History Month.

This year’s theme at the Halton District School Board is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.

“Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the lived experiences of Black Canadians yet the celebration of these lived experiences goes much deeper and is more profound than a month,” said Jennie Petko, Superintendent of Education for the HDSB with responsibility for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, Indigenous Rights and Education.

“There is a shared responsibility and determination that the recognition and acknowledgements of Black Canadians is, and continues to be, woven into the everyday learning in classrooms across the Halton District School Board.

“In the HDSB, we endeavour to ensure students learn and understand the truth about Black history, including racism and slavery, while honouring Black achievement and successes of the many who have played a key role in building and shaping this country. Black history is Canadian history.”

Throughout the month of February, students across the HDSB will explore and celebrate Black Excellence through the following activities:

  • Drumming performance by Alpha Rhythm Roots
  • A performance of “And Then What Happened, Black Canadian History, the untold stories” by storyteller and artist Tracy Cain
  • Steelpan workshops and performances by the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH)
  • Oakville’s Early Black History mobile exhibit, courtesy of Oakville Museum
  • Presentation from spoken word artist Dwayne Morgan
  • Exploring Us: Black Mental Health event hosted by the Graduation Coach for Black Students program

“Black History Month serves as an occasion to honour the significant accomplishments and contributions of Black Canadians,” said Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the HDSB.

“This month encourages reflection, gratitude and celebration of the courageous individuals who have positively influenced our society. More than an acknowledgment of the contributions of Black Canadians, this month prompts a deeper consideration of the sacrifices made in the ongoing pursuit of equity and inclusion.”

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