Black History Month at GSD

February is Black History Month. It is a time for Canadians to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today. It is also an opportunity to recognize historic and present forms of anti-Black racism in Ontario and challenge negative stereotypes and systems of oppression.
According to the Ontario Human Rights Code, every person has the right to be free from these and other forms of racial discrimination and harassment. In understanding the crucial nature of this duty, the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) is committed to dismantling anti-Black racism, systemic anti-oppressive inequities, and recognizing Black excellence in our school community. Although Black excellence will be celebrated throughout the school year, Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate some of the victories and achievements of York Catholic Black students and staff who are making a positive impact in our schools and communities.

As part of our commitment to anti-racism, students in grades 3-8 will take part in ant-racism presentations.

Grade 3-5 Anti-Racism Presentation: Presenters facilitate an interactive workshop with students that builds on the power of personal stories to talk about what racism is, and how we all have a role to play in building accepting and supportive communities for all. This workshop introduces anti-racism terms, statistics, and history in an age-appropriate way and shows students that they can be an upstander and an ally at any age and make a difference! Participants will hear stories from Black speakers who have grown from their own diverse life experiences. Students have an opportunity to build connection and share some of their own journeys and feelings through a guided, anonymous exercise.

Grade 6-8 Anti- Racism Presentation: Students will increase their knowledge of identifying, unlearning, and combatting anti-Black racial bias and discrimination. They will be education on language, statistics, and historical context as they relate to anti-Black racism. They will have a chance  to discuss realistic scenarios pertaining to racial bias and microaggressions. They will also have the opportunity to honestly ask questions and advice to two BIPOC Get REAL speakers. Students will walk away feeling empowered, more educated, and have a better understanding of racism in our communities, and concrete ways to support friends and peers of colour and show up as an ally 365 per year!

Parent Anti- Racism Workshop Thursday February 10 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. This parent workshop is an effective look at racism in a combination of practical advice statistics, and historical context, and interactive activities to help unpack biases and promote allyship for all. Parents will come away from the workshop with an increased knowledge identifying, unlearning, and combatting anti-Black racial bias and discrimination, education on language, statistics, and historical context as you they relate to anti-Black racism, and a chance to work through realistic and customized scenarios pertaining to racial bias and microaggressions.