Black Shirt Day - Friday, January 15th
The Anti-Racism Coalition of Vancouver is organizing Black Shirt Day on Friday, Jan. 15 – a day chosen to honour the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. A press release from the coalition says it would like to see Black Shirt Day gain worldwide recognition “as an international day of education and discussion around the history of racism and the ongoing fight for civil rights fought by Black and racialized Canadians.”
It notes parallels to days such as Pink Shirt Day, in support of anti-bullying, and Orange Shirt Day, which shines a spotlight on the Indigenous residential school experience and the lasting harm it has done in Canada. As you may be aware, a Diversity and Anti-Racism Working Group of Richmond stakeholders was formed earlier this year and we are in the early stages of working through our mandate with deliberate thought and care. It’s entirely possible that Black Shirt Day will gain momentum and have a more robust and official rollout in the future, much like Pink and Orange Shirt Days have.
Here’s a link to a recent news article for more information. http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-anti-racism-advocates-calling-for-black-shirt-day
We encourage Brighouse staff, students and community members to wear their black shirts on Friday to show support for anti-racism efforts.
Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. The 2020 theme for Black History Month is: "Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past." This was inspired by the theme of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
Black History Month Resources portal page and an Antiracism Resources portal page are both currently in development to provide teaching and learning resources for those who would like to learn more about antiracism and Black History Month in general, as well as incorporating antiracist resources into classrooms. As soon as they are ready the district will share the links widely. School libraries have also recently received an antiracist book bundle curated by Rebeca Rubio, which your staff can access to support their learning and teaching right away.
Thank you again for your support as we create opportunities for our Brighouse family to be engage in this important and challenging work.