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Black Heritage Month, celebrated every February, is a time for celebration of Black Culture and Heritage, and recognition of the many accomplishments of the black community both here in Canada, and around the world.

In solidarity with the Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS), University of Guelph’s Cultural Diversity Office, and Guelph Black Student’s Association, Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County continues to recognize February as ‘Black Heritage Month’, as opposed to ‘Black History Month’ in recognition that this month is about much more than a reflection on black history.

Aside from offering many opportunities for celebration, this month also offers a renewed opportunity to reflect critically on racial disparities that continue to deeply and personally impact the lives of Black/African Canadians, and Black/African citizens worldwide, and an opportunity to thoughtfully examine the ways in which we can inspire positive change as an organization and a community.

As an organization, we are deeply committed to building capacity and developing strategies that support anti-oppression and equity in child welfare. This includes supporting equitable outcomes for children and families, and especially Black/African Canadian and Indigenous children and families. This work includes the implementation of Race Equity Practices within our agency, and other activities supported by the One Vision One Voice initiative; the work of our Anti-Oppression and Equity Committee, and our Anti-Black Racism Committee; ongoing equity training for all staff; the implementation of Anti-Oppression and Equity policies and procedures; the other important initiatives.

Let’s take the lead of the Guelph Black Heritage Society, and take this important opportunity to raise awareness about and celebrate Black/African Culture and Heritage; reflect on and tackle racial inequality and social injustice; and inspire positive change within our homes, our neighbourhoods, our workplaces, our community, and beyond. In solidarity with the Guelph Black Heritage Society, we too believe that #ChangeStartsNow.

Please check out the list of resources and local events below happening this month. We look forward to (virtually) attending some of the below events, and exploring some of the below resources this month – and we encourage you to do the same!

If you are able to, please consider supporting the Guelph Black Heritage Foundation’s Give a Cup Campaign. This special campaign will help to free the Guelph Black Heritage Foundation from their mortgage, so they can allocate additional resources towards their #ChangeStartsNow Education Initiative, which provides educational programming on Black history and culture as well as relevant resources on diversity, discrimination and anti-racism. To learn more, or donate, please visit https://www.guelphblackheritage.ca/give-a-cup/

Black Heritage Month Events

Freedom Walk & Flag Raising – February 1, 2022 at City Hall @ 8:30 am

NEUROroyalty Presents: The BIPOC Mental Wellness Journey – Thursday February 3, 2022 @ 7pm (online)

*Please note & respect that this space is reserved for BIPOC & BIPOC family members only*
Free admission. Suggested donation $10 per person. To register for this online event, click here.

De-Escalation Workshop: How to Deal with Hate Motivated Incidents – Thursday February 10, 2022 @ 7 pm (online)

*Please note & respect that this space is reserved for BIPOC & BIPOC family members only*
Free admission. Suggested donation $10 per person. To register for this online event, click here.

DiverseWorks Presents: Anti-Black Racism in the Arts – Saturday, February 19, 2022 @ 2pm (Online)

Free admission. To register for this online event, click here.

Wellington County: Black Heritage Reclaimed – Wednesday February 17, 2022 @7pm (online)

Free admission. Suggested donation $10 per person. To register for this online event, click here.

Fourth Friday at the Guelph Museum – Friday February 25, 2022 @ 7pm

Event starts at 7 pm. Free admission, Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street, Guelph.

Rapid Response: Collecting Experiences Exhibit – now until February 28, 2022

Guelph Museum, 52 Norfolk Street, Guelph. For more information, click here.

Lantern Ale at Royal City Brewing Company, 199 Victoria Road S, Guelph

Lantern Ale is back at Royal City Brewing Company! Stop by Royal City Brewing Company and get your Lantern Ale – a distinct artisanal brew in honour of Black Heritage Month.

Books, Videos, Podcasts and Other Resources

Curated Resource Lists:

You can find an incredible resource list created by the Guelph Black Heritage Society, including books, movies, videos and more, for those seeking factual, curated information on Black history and issues. You can find this list on the Guelph Black Heritage Society’s website (click here to access).

The Office of Diversity and Human Rights at the University of Guelph has developed a great list of resources on Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression. You can find the list here: https://www.uoguelph.ca/diversity-human-rights/educational-resources-training/anti-racism-anti-oppression-resources

Podcasts/Ted Talks/Videos:

The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – TEDGlobal 2009: https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en

CBC’s ‘Being Black in Canada’

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/beingblackincanada

TED Talks to Celebrate Black History Month

https://www.ted.com/playlists/230/10_great_talks_to_celebrate_bl

A curated list of videos by the National Film Board for Black History Month

https://www.nfb.ca/education/?utm_campaign=657609_NFB_Education_2021-02-05_-February_Content_E-Blast(EDU)_&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NFB+Education-All_Users

Black Communities in Canada: A Rich History – The National Film Board

https://www.nfb.ca/playlist/nfb_celebrates_black_history_month/?utm_campaign=657609_NFB_Education_2021-02-05_-February_Content_E-Blast(EDU)_&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NFB+Education-All_Users

Curated Resource Lists and Resources for Children and Youth:

An Anti-Racist Reading List for Kids created by Chapters/Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/antiracist-reading-list/kids/?mc=AntiracistReading&lu=Leftnav_Kids

An Anti-Racist Reading List for Youth created by Chapters/Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/antiracist-reading-list/teen/?mc=AntiracistReading&lu=Leftnav_Teen

A list of books for kids & youth compiled by A Different Booklist (A Black owned bookstore in Toronto) that centres on Blackness, Indigeneity, racism and activism: https://www.adifferentbooklist.com/?q=h.tviewer&e_def_id=t3N4I_qu7fU

A list of children’s books for kids that speak to racism and discrimination (Essence Magazine): https://www.essence.com/entertainment/childrens-books-racism/#540890

CNN Sesame Street: Coming Together Town Hall, an episode for young children speaking to racism and discrimination: https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/06/06/entire-june-6-cnn-sesame-street-racism-town-hall-part-1-vpx.cnn

Museums and Historically-Focused Resources

The below list of Museums and Historic Sites (though not open right now) contain some great resources: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history-month/resources.html

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