Black History Month: Celebrating Black Excellence

Feb. 01, 2024

During Black History Month, we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada a culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous country.

Black Canadians have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity since the arrival of Mathieu Da Costa, a navigator and interpreter, whose presence in Canada dates back to the early 1600s.

The role of Black people in Canada, as a key part of it's history, has largely been ignored. There is little mention of the fact that some of the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution and settled in the Maritimes were people of African descent, nor that many soldiers of African descent made sacrifices in wartime as far back as the War of 1812.

Few people in Canada are aware of the fact that African people were once enslaved in the territory that is now known as Canada, or that those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of Canada’s diverse and inclusive society.

Black History Month is a time to learn more about these Canadian stories and the many other important contributions that Black Canadians have made to the history and continued growth of this country.

This year, our theme is Finding Home: Belonging and Community. We are focused on highlighting the importance of creating a welcoming and inclusive community where we can all feel safe, valued, and respected.

"Like our ethical responsibility to embed anti-racism principles and values in all systems and structures of our organizations, we must think of our focus on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as not a burden or something that pits ‘us’ and ‘them,’ but rather, as a gift of humanity we give to one another as human beings. A community founded on the values and principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, anti-racism and anti-oppression benefits us all, regardless of our individual or social differences." Dr. Moussa Magassa, PhD, Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion - Mount Royal University.

Join us in celebrating Black Excellence with the following discussions and films:

Finding Home:  Belonging and Community - A Fireside Chat with Dr. Uchechukwu Umezurike, MA., PhD
Finding Home: Belonging and Community - A conversation with Santhia Locke, Author
Finding Home:  Belonging and Community - Exploring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with Dr. Moussa Magassa, PhD
Black History Month Film Series - On The Rise
Black History Month Film Series - John Ware Reclaimed
Black History Month Film Series - Invisible City
Black History Month Film Series - Ninth Floor

Cochrane Eagle Article