Every February OSSTF/FEESO members are invited to organize and participate in Black History Month events to celebrate the important contributions and legacy of Black Canadians. First recognized in Canada in 1995, Black History Month is also observed in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Netherlands.
The value of recognizing, celebrating, and honouring the experiences of Black Canadians is an important part of the continued work of this Federation and of the larger labour movement. The work of unions and labour organizations throughout history has helped advance equity laws, challenge bias, and encourage diversity in the workplace. By acknowledging our national history and the legacy of Black Canadians, we can continue to develop our own understanding and challenge racism. This will also help us, as educators, continue to foster empowerment and leadership in black youth.
Local leaders and members are encouraged to seek out ways of acknowledging Black History Month in their work sites. The website www.blackhistorysociety.ca offers a variety of resources to education workers seeking to celebrate Black History Month, including information on events, workshops, and classroom activities. Also, OSSTF/FEESO’s Human Rights Committee has commissioned an image for use by Districts and Bargaining Units to assist in this celebration.
The OSSTF/FEESO Black History Month image, in a variety of digital formats, is available for viewing and download here.