We are expecting close to 10,000 students to participate in Black Excellence Day this Friday, January 14, 2022, and we hope to grow it even bigger moving forward.
After taking part in “Black Shirt Day,” which received overwhelming support around the world on January 15, 2021, the members of Ninandotoo Society created the Black Excellence Day initiative. We chose to create our own event after consulting with various community members, including the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, and the BC Human Rights Commission, who all voiced that the words ‘Black shirt’ and seeing people march wearing black shirts brought up traumatic experiences for Holocaust survivors, their families and community members.
You can read about our journey here: Black Excellence Day CBC Article.
We are happy and proud to announce the B.C.Provincial Government has sent out a proclamation officially supporting Black Excellence Day in British Columbia.
Getting Ready for Black Excellence Day
We are excited that schools throughout British Columbia will be tuning in virtually, but want to acknowledge that many schools will be having class and school-based Black Excellence initiatives and events. We appreciate and applaud your efforts to make this event as inclusive as possible. Here are some ways you can get your students ready for Black Excellence Day:
- Remind your staff and students to wear black clothing to school.
- Talk to your students about the importance of uplifting diverse voices and the importance of sharing the stories
of racialized groups to provide a more inclusive view of history and society.
- Use this video to begin these conversations with your students: Let’s Talk About Race- Read by Common
- Speak with your school counseling/support team about being ready to support students if they are triggered by
any of the conversations, interviews and topics. Students can also contact the Kids Helpline or Black Youth
Helpline if they need someone to talk to.
- Send messaging home to raise awareness with parents/guardians (Newsletter, Website, Email, etc.)
- Work with Leadership Students, student anti-racism/equity clubs, and/or classes to create school displays and
- The event will be recorded, so please feel free to refer back to the video as needed.
After the virtual event
It is important to celebrate Black Excellence and we are most grateful you are joining us to celebrate Black contributions, Black achievements, Black love and Black joy. It is our hope this day will not be a one-off in your school. We encourage you to continue the conversation, amplify diverse voices and perspectives, and highlight Black Excellence throughout the school year.
Now is the time to begin looking at ways to acknowledge and celebrate diversity in your school community with your students.
With Black History Month around the corner, what learning opportunities can you co-create with the students in your classes to amplify the voices and lived experiences of Black people?
Reach out to local black organizations and see how you can diversify your classroom narratives to include Black presenters, guest speakers to show the diversity of Black Excellence, love, and thought.
Reach out to families within your school community and ask them if they would like to participate in co-creating learning opportunities for the school to hear from people with diverse lived experiences and backgrounds.
Learn diverse perspectives and make connections through the power of storytelling. Try to find resources and books to share the intersectional lived experiences that represent your classroom community.
To help begin your journey, we have provided a Link of resources here: Black Excellence Day Resources
Again, we would like to thank everyone for participating and we hope you enjoy the learning experience from the Virtual event.
Much appreciation for your support,