Halton District School Board celebrates Black History Month

Numerous schools have events, initiatives planned for February

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In recognition of February’s Black History Month, schools in the Halton District School Board have planned events and initiatives to celebrate and honour the contributions of black Canadians, past and present.

“I want to applaud all of our staff and students for embracing the spirit and significance of Black History Month,” said Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “Not only is it a celebration of the contributions of Black Canadians to Canada’s history, it is undeniably a part of the fabric of this nation.”

On Thursday, February 4, 2016 Oakville’s E.J. James Public School is hosting TV journalist  JoJo Chintoh who will talk about African culture from Passages Canada. It’s a storytelling initiative of Historica Canada, in which volunteers share their personal accounts of cultural identity and heritage.

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Jojo Chintoh will be speaking to Oakville students on February 4, 2016.

Born in Ghana, Chintoh moved to Canada with his family in 1969. He became editor of several newspapers, including Contrast, before joining Citytv in 1978. He was hired at a time when Moses Znaimer was making efforts to have television personalities reflect the diverse cultures of the city, and Chintoh was the first black reporter on the station.[3] He focused on crime reporting for the station in the early 1990s.[4]He is the father of three daughters Adjoa, Araba and Mansa.In 1985, Chintoh received a CanPro award and a Gemini award nomination for his series Down and Out in Parkdale. He received the 1984 Sovereign Award from the Canadian Racing Community for his Quest for the Plate series.

Other events in Halton include:

  1. Frontenac Public School (Burlington): The school will be making daily announcements about the contributions of key composers, musicians, and artists who have not only impacted the country’s musical landscape but who have been contributors to supporting the movement toward equality and equity.~
  2. Stewarttown Middle School (Georgetown) has invited performers from the Mississauga Living Arts Centre on Feb. 22-23 and 26 to the school to host dance workshops, followed by a culminating performance by all students. Dance styles will include hip hop, Bollywood and African dancing.
  3. Craig Kielburger Secondary School (Milton): On Friday, February 12, award-winning presenter Loretta Penny will speak to Grade 9 students about the history of African culture, with the presentation to include a unique, hands-on display.
  4. W.I. Dick Public School (Milton) On Monday, February 8, staff and students will be attending a performance of the Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart at the Milton Centre for the Arts. Robinson was an American Major League Baseball player who became the first African American to play in the major leagues in the modern era.~A Game Apart provides a glimpse of Jackie Robinson’s life and provides a powerful lesson of courage through dedication, perseverance and leadership.

Some schools held Black History Month events just prior to the month of February, including Aldershot High School. The Burlington school hosted Bobbi Taffe, a volunteer speaker with Passages Canada. She shared her perspective on black/African heritage, stories of refugee experiences, immigration to Canada, racism and discrimination, and social justice and human rights issues.

Every year, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present. Canadians take this time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of black Canadians who, throughout history, have done much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.

“The Halton District School Board is proud to celebrate February as~Black History Month~with numerous events and activities throughout our schools. This month, however, is more than events and showcases. It reflects how learning can be transformed as a result of culturally relevant and responsive teaching,” said Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education with the Halton District School Board. “There are numerous events and learning experiences occurring throughout the month of February and over the entire year to embed Black history and inclusive education in schools across the Halton District School Board.”

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