BLACK HISTORY MONTH
BLack History Month
For decades, the month of February has been a time to learn, commemorate, and honour the legacies of Black people and communities. In Canada, Black History Month was first officially recognized in 1995.
Both in the context of broader Canadian history and in the work we do surrounding queer history, the achievements and stories of Black people have been erased and minimized. In recent years, CCGSD has reflected on how it has replicated racist, exclusionary, and anti-Black practices in our policies and procedures which have harmed Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Colour. In this time of introspection, we have focused our attention on addressing systemic issues of organizational culture that have contributed to anti-Blackness. This has included CCGSD’s Commitment to BIPOC Communities as well as our Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Recommendations.
The work on this is ongoing, and as a result of both this work and an increase in capacity across the organization, we feel we are now better positioned to contribute to the celebration and recognition of Black History Month. Our work this February will focus on celebrating Blackness and outlining ways anti-Blackness persists in Canada. It will also spotlight the importance of the work of Black queer and trans folks in movement building and organizing.
Look below to learn about “Problematizing Queer History in Canada”, an event organized by the CCGSD to celebrate Black History Month. We’ve also included information on other Black History Month events designed by and for Black 2SLGBTQI+ people, as well as resources developed by the CCGSD that spotlight Black Queer History in Canada.
Do you know of a 2SLGBTQI+ Black History Month event that we’ve missed? Let us know by emailing Jaime, our Manager of Communications: email@example.com
RESISTING ANTI-BLACKness in the Education System
March 13, 2023, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM EST
As an organization invested in ending discrimination through education, CCGSD is deeply aware that while education has the potential to be sites of change, community, and solidarity building, it can also be a site of oppression and harm for Black youth. The institutions that make up the Canadian education system have a long history of perpetuating anti-Black racism against students, families, and educators. This panel will peel back the layers of anti-Blackness that exist within that system, explore how these issues affect Black educators and students, and how these issues are complicated by the intersections of Blackness, queerness, and transness.
MEET THE PANELISTS
Alyssa Gray-Tyghter (she/her) – Alyssa is an educator, academic, writer, speaker, digital content creator, wife, and mama bear to 4. She is an Equity Resource Teacher in the Peel District School Board. She holds a Master of Education in Critical Studies where her work focused on anti-Black racism and Indigenous epistemologies in Mi’kma’ki. She is currently completing her PhD in Social Justice Education at OISE – University of Toronto.
Teneile Warren – Teneile is a Black, Queer, and Nonbinary Jamaican immigrant living on Turtle Island. Teneile is an Intersectional Equity Educator, transformative justice practitioner, and community activist in Waterloo Region, Ontario. They are the Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Waterloo Region District School Board. They are a partner, a parent, and an amateur Black food historian.
2SLGBTQI+ Black History Month EVENTS
Shared Connections: Networking for Black 2SLGBTQI+ Members
- Hosted by The Enchanté Network
- Feb 2, 2023 2:00 PM EST
- Zoom (registration required)
Note: this event is open to Black 2SLGBTQI+ people affiliated with Enchanté Network member organizations
Queering Black Leadership – an intergenerational conversation for aspiring Black leaders
- Hosted by The Enchanté Network
- Feb 13, 2023 1:00 PM EST
- Zoom (registration required)
This virtual intergenerational conversation will connect aspiring Black leaders with Queer Black executives to discuss why Queer Black leadership is necessary for the progress of Queer movements in Canada.
QMUNITY’s Black History Month Initiatives 2023
- Hosted by QMUNITY
- Feb 25, 2023
- More details TBD
Pride Toronto presents SANKOFA
- Hosted by Pride Toronto
- Feb 18, 2023 4 PM-8 PM EST
- Lithuanian House (1573 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON)
- Registration required, space is limited
Honor & Celebrate members of our Black 2SLGBTQ+ communities who have created safer spaces, fought for our rights, been a voice & help navigate the ever changing landscape. Let’s come together tonight to celebrate with some amazing performances, including drag queen and kings, song, poetry & dance from the A-list artists in our community. We hope you will come out and help us honor them for their some of our leaders.
Luncheon for Black LGBTQ+ Community: Black, Queer, and Here!
- Hosted by Black Cultural Society of Prince Edward Island
- Feb 26, 2023 11 AM-2PM AST
- Harmony House Theatre, Hunter River, PE
BCS will host the first annual Black, Queer & Here! Luncheon. This year’s event will be held in person at Harmony House Theatre in Hunter River. Attendees will have the opportunity to share and relate experiences, knowledge, and ideas. KEYNOTE SPEAKER: TBA
Note: This event is open to members of the Black Community.
BLACK QUEER HISTORY RESOURCES
CCGSD has developed a number of resources about Black 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and histories in Canada. These resources are free to use for youth, educators, and organizations. Use these to inform or build a lesson plan, or to enhance your own knowledge of these important stories and leaders.
This resources offers readers a look into Sister Vision Press, a small Canadian press publisher that launched in 1985 with the mission to publish the work of women of colour.
If you’re interested in learning more about the founders, their business and the various books they published then this is the perfect read!
CW: racism, sexism, homophobia
This resource provides an incredible, in-depth look at the Black Women’s Collective (BWC) which originated in so-called Toronto in 1986.
This is a great resource for you if you’re looking to better understand the role that the BWC played in addressing the intersections of race, class, sexuality, gender in politics.
CW: police brutality, racism, violence, sexism, homophobia
This resources covers the history behind 101 Dewson Street Collective, a thriving hub of Black 2SLGBTQIA+ activism in Toronto in the 1980’s. This space was actually created by the founders of Sister Vision Press.
This is a fantastic read if you’re looking to explore how the 101 Dewson Street Collective became the birthplace of several pivotal organizations as well as a safe rallying space for 2SLGBTQIA+ Black and POC communities at the time!
CW: racial, sexual and gender-based discrimination, violence, homophobia, racism, police brutality.
REFLECTIONS: HISTORIC BLACK 2SLGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY IN TORONTO
This resource is a brief academic piece exploring the content illustrated in the 3 booklets mentioned above: “Black Women’s Collective,” “Sister Vision Press” and “101 Dewson Street.” This is a great read if you don’t have the time to go through each individual resource as it offers some great insight into these historical figures, organizations and moments in time.
If you’re interested in further reading upon the topic, we also recommend you take a look at the work cited at the bottom of the resource!
CW: racial, sexual and gender-based discrimination, violence, homophobia, police brutality.
2SLGBTQIA+ BIPOC VOICES IN HISTORY
This resources offers readers a high-level snapshot of Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) history in Canada.
If you are looking to delve deeper into key terminology or explore the community’s advocacy efforts since the early 80’s, then this is the resource for you!
This reading also covers the various community groups, task forces, organizations, and collectives are important places of activism and kinship for QTBIPOC.
This year, the Centre is looking for remote volunteers to help with outreach and promotion of our online programming. If you are interested in volunteering, gaining valuable and marketable skills in such areas as event coordination, fundraising, public speaking, database management, networking, and social media.