In February, Durham College (DC) joins individuals and organizations across Canada to recognize Black History Month, a time to celebrate the remarkable contributions of members of the Black community and reflect on our shared history and culture. In honour of Black History Month, DC has raised the Pan-African Flag at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses – a symbol of Black liberation and solidarity for members of the Black/African diaspora.
As we celebrate the achievements of the Black community, we must also acknowledge the systemic barriers that have limited its members’ opportunities and potential. At DC, we condemn all forms of anti-Black racism and all systems of oppression which deny individuals the right to equitable treatment, access and fairness. We are committed to listening, learning and taking steps towards fostering equitable and inclusive access for all.
In recognition of this year’s Black History Month theme “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build,” DC is centering its efforts on fostering Black wellness, recognizing it as a crucial element for achieving Black excellence. We know that amplifying Black voices and promoting the well-being of our Black community members is essential for progress and success.
To support our learning and engagement, the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are hosting two events this month to celebrate and explore the unique aspects of Black wellness, including racial equity in the workforce.
- The Black Wellness Fair, hosted in collaboration with the AIDS Committee of Durham Region, celebrates and promotes holistic health within our community, with a particular focus on the unique aspects of Black wellness.
- Ally-ship for the Advancement of Racial Equity, shared through the lens of Keith Richards, a Sergeant with the Durham Regional Police Service, explores how ally-ship can help support the progress of Black Canadians within the workforce.
The Library has also curated a virtual resource collection that highlights those who have used their talents to uplift the race, speak the truth and provide inspiration, as well as an Anti-Black Racism and White Privilege collection. There are a variety of films and documentaries that celebrate Black stories at Kanopy and Criterion On-Demand, available by logging in with your DC credentials.
I encourage all members of the DC community to take the time to attend these events and access these resources so that we can continue to challenge inequities and ensure that the values of respect, inclusion and diversity are extended to everyone. Listen and reflect on the efforts you can make in your own life to help increase racial equity for all. It is through these collective efforts that we can actively contribute to creating a diverse and inclusive campus for everyone – regardless of race – this month and every month.