UGDSB reflects on Black Heritage, Black Brilliance and Black Futures Month
February 24, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario – This month, the Upper Grand District School Board recognized and celebrated Black Heritage, Black Brilliance and Black Futures Month.
As part of the month, the UGDSB Equity Department and several UGDSB Black Student Union groups organized guest speakers, video tributes and features, and virtual information sessions for students and staff.
Guests for the month included Dr. ABC, Dr. Eugenia Addy and Dr. Ian Williams.
Dr. ABC – Dr. Andrew B. Campbell is an educator and author who offers motivational speaking to other educators and students. Dr. ABC provided two pre-recorded learning opportunities to the board with students and staff present. Topics of the learning opportunities included Disrupting Anti-Black Racism and Black Brilliance.
Dr. Eugenia Addy – Dr. Addy is an ambassador of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education and the CEO of Visions of Science. Dr. Addy provided two pre-recorded learning sessions for the board. They both focused on STEM and on her experiences as a Black student in Ontario schools with an interest in science.
The third guest opportunity came in the form of an interactive session with poet Dr. Ian Williams and members of the Guelph CVI Black Student Union. Dr. Williams met virtually with the students of GCVI’s Black Student Union to discuss poetry and creative writing. Students spent 50 minutes with Dr. Williams, asking questions and having conversation. This session was recorded and made available for other students and staff in the board.
Features of the month included:
- UGDSB Black Staff Advisory Group introduction
- Guelph Black Heritage Society
- Ontario Black History Society & Natasha Henry
- Hymn to Freedom & Verese Vassell-Bowen
- Dufferin County Canadian Black Association & Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson & Alethia Stephenson & Althea Alli
- E.T. Outreach, CEEP team & Nicole Jeffrey
- Jael Richardson
- Skye & Orlando Bowen
Other learning resources included:
- Niagara Museum Black Military Exhibit
- Hair Love video from CDDHS Black Chapter
- Colourism video from CDDHS Black Chapter
- Solidarity in My Community artexhibit from Museum of Dufferin Black History Month
- Gutter Child discussion with Jael Richardson and Damon Ealey
Black Brilliance and anti-Black racism work is done by the UGDSB year round. As we leave February, we look forward to continuing more of this work as a board.