The Lambton Kent District School Board (LKDSB) acknowledges the ongoing impacts of anti-Black racism in our communities, which cause harm, trauma, violence and the loss of Black lives. We know that the intersections of racism and other social and institutional inequalities result in the ongoing oppression and marginalization of the Black community. As an education system, we are committed to change and focusing on championing anti-oppressive education.
In recognition of Black History/African Heritage Month in February, the LKDSB is committed to recognizing the historically erased role of Black Canadians in our history and society. This year, the focus for Black History/African Heritage Month will be Black Lives Matter. Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions about Black Lives Matter.
As educators, we are committed to ensuring our students feel safe and have a strong sense of belonging within their schools. We call upon all staff to advocate for and promote equitable and inclusive learning and work environments, as well as denounce anti-Black racism in education. We also know that we have an opportunity to use our influence in the communities we serve to promote awareness and understanding of Black Lives Matter, a movement asserting and affirming that Black lives matter; centering Black history locally; and highlighting Black resilience, resistance and brilliance.
Stating that Black Lives Matter does not imply that other lives do not matter; it is intended to focus on and centre the lives of Black people who have historically and systemically been marginalized and excluded in Canadian society and globally. This has direct impacts on economic, social, educational and health outcomes for Black people. By focusing on Black Lives Matter, it reiterates the importance of the human rights of all individuals and acknowledges that those rights have not always been extended to all Canadians, specifically Black people.
We encourage and promote the incorporation of Black history and heritage throughout the curriculum to further understand the current experiences of Black Canadians. Schools are encouraged to explore the rich history in the surrounding area to enhance students' learning and understanding about African Canadian history and heritage during the month of February and throughout the school year.
Throughout the month of February, the Black Lives Matter banner will be posted on the Board and school websites, social media accounts and shared classroom resources such as Google Classroom and SeeSaw.
Additional information and links to local Black historical sites are available on the LKDSB website: http://www.lkdsb.net/Board/Community/EquityInclusiveEducation/Pages/Black-Heritage.aspx
Should you have any concerns about a student's well-being, we encourage you to contact your school directly to learn more about student supports that are available.
Together we will continue to promote our strategic priority of “Inclusive Diversity: Champion anti-oppressive education" and our mission of Fostering Success for Every Student Every Day.
Director of Education