Skills for Change Honours Legacy of Black Canadians
Skills for Change is celebrating Black History Month titled “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History” today and every day, by recognizing the incredible contributions of the Black Canadian diaspora.
Established in 1995, the Canadian government officially announced February as Black History Month.
The first Black settlers to Canada arrived in 1608 and thousands of Africans came to Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The history of the Black community is rich and is filled with incredible contributions to Canadian society, including Viola Desmond (civil rights activist), Mary Ann Shadd (writer and teacher), Lincoln Alexander (first Black Lieutenant Governor), and Mifflin Wistar Gibbs (political activist), to name a few.
The celebration is to honor the Black community of leaders, activists, and business owners who have and continue to advocate for a better and more just society for Black Canadians. Leaders including Debbie Douglas (Executive Director, OCASI), Dr. Wesley Crichlow (Professor, Critical Race Intersectional Theorist), Dr. Afua Cooper (Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University); Robyn Maynard (Black feminist writer, activist, and educator) and many, many more.
In 2021, Skills for Change launched the Black Community Access and Programming department, focusing on providing specific access to resources and program offerings that are needed within the Black community. The programs include the Black Leadership Institute on Social Action for Change, a leadership development program creating pathways to more inclusive leadership and representation of Black leaders in the Canadian society; and the Black Entrepreneurship Hub to support Canadian Black-led and Black-owned growing businesses with capacity building in management, innovation, financial literacy, access and banking (launching in 2022).
Skills for Change is committed to working towards the elimination of discrimination, racism, and prejudice against the Black community; and committed to providing opportunities for Black youth in community engagement; and to working together with employers and multi-level stakeholders to build awareness and change attitudes that are critical to combatting Anti-Black Racism, including racial privilege, racial injustices, unconscious bias, microaggressions, and more.