Honouring Black History Month

Many countries of the world, including Canada, observe February as Black History Month. Those of us who believe ourselves to stand on the side of social justice may welcome this opportunity to promote equity and equality for those in our community who have been part of building our nation and yet remain marginalized within it. We applaud the ideas of inclusivity and opportunity for all. We rage against discrimination and intolerance.  And yet… do we really understand what we are fighting for?

Last month four Booth UC students of African descent presented a video on Booth UC social media that calls us to reflect, to learn, to challenge our assumptions and unconscious biases.  Assumptions like judging a person’s language abilities from their skin colour or country of origin.  Biases such as questioning a person’s dreams and aspirations based on their ethnicity or social background. These student voices reflect and are echoed in the experiences of countless other individuals who are members of our community, our work colleagues, our friends and relatives. 

Black History Month is for you. It is for me. Because, as Jael observes in the video, until we can each own our responsibility to create space for the Other and to share it with love and tolerance, we have not accomplished the goal of peace and opportunity for all. Not yet… but perhaps soon.

submitted by Rhonda Friesen, Dean of Students


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