The theme for Black History Month 2022 is February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day. Equally important, is recognizing the years 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD).
At YMCA Canada, we celebrate and acknowledge the diverse culture, rich heritage, and impactful accomplishments of the Black Community in February during Black History Month, as well as all year long. We are also keenly aware that addressing and dismantling the pervasive anti-Black racism that persists in all sectors of Canadian society requires lifelong learning and ongoing action.
This Black History Month 365 page has been created to keep YMCA staff, volunteers, and community members updated on upcoming events, programs, and key resources that celebrate the accomplishments and rich heritage of Black Canadians, strive to eliminate systemic barriers faced by the Black community, and challenge anti-Black racism in all its manifestations.
Black History Month was first celebrated in 1926 as Negro History Week, with the goal of increasing knowledge of Black history. 'Negro History Week' was introduced by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian. In the 1930s-1950s, community-based organizations across Canada also began celebrating the importance of the history of the Black community in February. Overtime, the term “negro” fell out of use and was replaced with updated language. In December 1995, the House of Commons of Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada, following a motion introduced by Dr. Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected to the Parliament of Canada.
- YMCA Canada Black History Month 2022 Virtual Panel Event: Unpacking and Resisting Anti-Black Racism in Canadian Child and Family Services
- YMCA staff can click here to go to an internal SharePoint version of this site, which has a link to the recording of this Virtual Panel Event.
- In honour of Black History Month, YMCA Canada invited YMCA staff and volunteers to join us in learning, reflection, and dialogue at the panel event, Unpacking and Resisting Anti-Black Racism in Canadian Child and Family Services. This virtual panel event fostered a deeper understanding of the systemic barriers and racial violence that Black children and families in Canada face, to better inform youth programming, staff training, sport and recreation programming, and other facets of non-profit work. Speakers Dr. Janelle Joseph, Habiba Cooper Diallo, and Larissa Crawford unpacked historic and contemporary manifestations of anti-Blackness in Canada, and the ways in which they impact Black children and families as they navigate child and family services. Speakers also highlighted powerful examples of resisting anti-Blackness and offered wise practices for transforming services and programs into anti-racist spaces.
- YMCA of Greater Toronto 2022 Black History Month Events and Related Programs
The following external resources have been identified and available to support YMCA staff, volunteers, and community members in their actions and learning about Black history, anti-Black racism, and racial justice:
About Black History Month
Celebrating Black History, Heritage, and Accomplishments
Understanding Anti-Blackness in Canada
- The Blackness in Canada Project; A Snapshot of the Black Experience in Canada
- Five charts that show the impact of anti-Black racism in Canada – The Globe and Mail
- What's the history of anti-Black racism in Canada – New Youth
- Canada's slavery secret: The whitewashing of 200 years of enslavement – CBC
- Social determinants and inequities in health for Black Canadians: A Snapshot
- Canadian Education Is Steeped in Anti-Black Racism
Addressing and Resisting Anti-Black Racism
- Resources for Ending Anti-Black Racism – Canadian Women’s Foundation
- BlackNorth Initiative Racial Equity Playbook
- Advancing our Anti-Racism Journey – YMCA USA
- COVID-19 Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources
- Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice (Moving from Actor → Ally → Accomplice)
- Resources on Unpacking Whiteness and White Privilege – National Museum of African American History and Culture