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The opportunity of Black History Month

For people of African ancestry who identify as Black, recent world news has provoked disturbing and hurtful images of aggression, privilege and white supremacy. Those images have an undeniable impact on the mental health and well-being for many people in our communities.

February is Black History Month and it’s a time to enhance the rich and diverse history of African and Black culture. It’s also a time to highlight much of the Black excellence that occurs every day in our school communities. These explorations are not limited to this month, rather quite the opposite. It is important for all of us to consider the achievements of Canadian Black history throughout the year. 

At the same time, we must also reflect on and take action around the roles we all play in upholding practices, policies and structures that perpetuate systemic anti-Black racism in our systems, including within our schools, which are often barriers to good mental health and well-being for Black students.

Resources to support ongoing learning and engagement about Black history, anti-Black Racism, and mental health

While we all find unique ways to mark Black History Month, let’s also consider how our approaches impact the mental health and well-being, of ourselves and others. Below are resources, including some from School Mental Health Ontario, to help support your school community to engage in meaningful conversation, engagement, and action.