Each year, the Vancouver School District marks Black History Month through a number of events and school-based activities. Once again this year, schools are a buzz with activity as students, their families, staff and trustees plan for festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present.
The 2020 theme for Black History Month is Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past. This theme was inspired by the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015 – 2024).
In preparation for the month, school teams have been provided with a number of resources that support the K-7 B.C. curriculum. These resources bring to light the importance of recognizing and celebrating Black History Month here in Vancouver and across Canada.
Leading up to the year's Black History Month activities, in January, the District joined a Walking Tour of Hogan's Alley/Strathcona led by Yasin Kiraga with the African Descent Society. Yasin will also lend his support to set up a historical display in the lobby at the Education Centre for the month of February.
As with all of the District's work, the most educational and meaningful events take place in schools. This year, the District will kick-off its Black History Month commemorations with a Youth Anti-Racism Summit: What's Your Move. It will feature a number of prominent speakers and presenters from the Black community. Members of the National Congress of Black Women will also assist with the event.
Throughout the month, class activities will also take place at schools. Through talks, presentations, installations and exhibitions, students will hear from District staff and partner organizations about the legacy of Black Canadians. These include installations about Hogan's Alley along with walking tours. At the high school level, an event, Meet the Curators: A Discussion on Accessing Black Literature for Young Adults has been designed. It goes beyond a single moment to become a resource for students and educators throughout 2020 and for years to come. And, Magee Secondary will host a Black film festival throughout the month.
In addition to the teaching resources educators have available to guide their work with students, a number of professional development events are also planned for staff including an anti-racism workshop focused on the experiences of members of the Black community, Black History and on empowering Black youth.
Stay tuned for news about Black History Month events and activities throughout the month of February! Follow the VSB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!