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BLack History Month

CCGSD is an organization mobilizing Black feminist principles and values to be a resource for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, and especially, QTBIPOC youth across Canada.

We approach queer history, identity, and comprehensive sexuality education through an intersectional lens and aim to create space for QTBIPOC youth to thrive by:

  • Providing workshops in classrooms and community spaces;
  • Creating in-person youth summits for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth to build community through art, and learn skills they can apply to their local contexts, and;
  • Supporting the work of local GSA (Gender and Sexual Alliances) and other local 2SLGBTQIA+ youth-led organizations across the country.

To become an organization working from an intersectional perspective on 2SLGBTQIA+ youth issues, we have focused our attention in the past few years 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.

Each year, Black History Month is a moment for us to reconnect with Black queer history to deepen our tools to fight white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and be the resource QTBIPOC youth deserve.

2024 Black History Month At CCGSD

Flipping the Script on Black Excellence: Black Feminist Principles for Black 2LSGBTQIA+ Liberation

“Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build” is the 2024 theme chosen by Canadian Heritage for Black History Month in Canada. This year’s theme aims to celebrate the significant contributions of Black Canadians to the fabric of Canada. 

We have learned from our work and our own experiences that the anti-black racism of institutions creates barriers for Black excellence to thrive. These barriers take the form of the glass cliff, pay inequity, exhaustion, and lack of recognition and opportunities to name a few.

We have to define Black excellence on our own terms because otherwise black excellence would mean succeeding within institutions that were not made with us in mind and that are not rooting for us to succeed to begin with.

We, at CCGSD, are flipping the script on Black excellence this Black History Month.

This Black History Month, we flip the script on Black excellence to focus on black feminist principles for Black 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation that can inform the ways in which we create Black queer and trans joy in our lives, navigate oppression, and imagine and build queer and trans futures.

By flipping the script on Black excellence, we reframe our focus away from succeeding in institutions not built for us and towards the question of how to live in community and see ourselves and each other fully.

4 Black Feminist Principles for Black 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation

“Survival is a promise. A covenant between my ancestors, my living communities and this body that is 100% composed of the love that connects them,” writes Alexis Pauline Gumbs in an essay reflecting on Audre Lorde’s life and the documentary “Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years.”

What we learn from Gumbs’ rethinking of survival as a promise is that we only survive and thrive by collectively setting our own standards. Our survival is not based on our relationship to the institutions that see us excel. Rather, our survival is linked to the relationships we have with ourselves, our communities, and those that have come before us. Our survival is a promise we make to ourselves to succeed on our own terms.

Poetry, yours or the one of others, is central to Black 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation.

In “Poetry is not a Luxury”, audre lorde teaches us why: poetry illuminates our lives and the challenges and oppressions we face and opens a path for us to hope, and dream towards survival and change for ourselves, our communities, and more liveable futures. 

You do not need to work to become a renowned poet or to excel at writing poetry for poetry to be central to your liberation. Poetry is necessary to our liberation because it invites us to name the intersections that make up our lives, and to confront the histories and life experiences that make these intersections bear on us. Poetry helps us put into words and in action the kind of change we hope to be moving towards for Black 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation.

“How to navigate change?” is the question that shapes adrienne maree brown’s engagement with Octavia Butler and the development of the emergent strategy framework she is well known for.

brown shifts our understanding of change from something that is either good or bad to something that just is. Change is constant. The institutions we move through like the schools and community spaces we attend or work and volunteer at change all the time. Navigating this constant change requires working towards excelling at navigating change in the political, social, and interpersonal parts of our lives.

Navigating constant change requires advocating in innovative ways for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth access to inclusive and intersectional comprehensive sexuality education and challenging policies that harm queer and trans youth right to connection, understanding, and compassion.

Excellence is not the measure of what is to be remembered as part of Black queer & trans contributions to 2SLGBTQIA+ history. Our fight against archival erasure and to share intersectional histories of Black 2SLGBTQIA+ activism and movement work are the measure of what is remembered as part of Black 2SLGBTQIA+ history.

As Syrus Marcus Ware reminds us: “we need to consider what we want to remember and how we want to remember it, building an archive of our movements going forward to ensure that intergenerational memory can inform our activism, community building, and organizing.”

Let’s not excel, to be remembered, but rather work on creating spaces for sharing Black 2SLGBTQIA+ history and foster intergenerational memory that inform our work, organizing, and lives.

2023 Black History Month at CCGSD: Stories of Activism, Resistance and Joy

Black History Month 2023 at a Glance

“Ours to tell,” was the 2023 theme chosen by Canadian Heritage for Black History Month in Canada. The focus of the 2023 campaign was to engage in conversations and create learning spaces to highlight the stories of Black communities in Canada.

Through a series of webinars, organized with the generous support of the Canadian Race Relations Foundations (CRRF), we focused our 2023 Black History Month campaign on celebrating Blackness, spotlighting the importance of the work of Black queer and trans folks in movement building, and outlining ways anti-Blackness persists in Canada. In addition, we compiled 2023 Black History Month events designed by and for Black 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

Canadian Race Relations Foundation Logo

Webinar #1: Problematizing Queer History In Canada: Unpacking Representation And Lack Thereof

February 23rd, 2023, 4 PM-5:15PM EST

Throughout queer history in Canada, Black queer and trans people have consistently been at the forefront of community organizing, movement building, and activism. However, these contributions are often hard to find within our queer archives, and mainstream 2SLGBTQI+ organizations – including the CCGSD – have erased the importance of Black queer leadership and struggle both historically and to this day. From the Dewson Street Collective to the 2016 BLM protest at Toronto Pride, this conversation will unpack the problematic relationship between whiteness and queer history in Canada, and imagine new ways of collecting, centring, and sharing Black queer and trans histories both within Canada and beyond its borders.

Webinar #2: 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.


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.

Webinar #3: On Joy And Community – Fireside Chat With Brittany Hudson (They/Them)

July 6th, 2023, 5:30pm-6:45pm EST

This intimate fireside chat with Brittany Hudson and CCGSD’s Manager of programs, Mofi Badmos focused on joy and community within Black 2SLGBTQI+ communities. 

In a society that often tries to stifle Black queer and trans joy, centering joy becomes essential. Additionally, prioritizing community in a society that values individualism is also key. As Black queer and trans folks, exploring the intersection of both is paramount. During our time together, we will delve into the critical roles that joy and community have played in both the life and work of our panelist and attendees. We will also explore the joys and challenges with community building.

It will be a space to share stories, ask questions, and connect with others who share similar experiences and perspectives. This event is open to anyone who identifies as Black and 2SLGBTQI+. We invite you to join us as we explore the transformative power of joy and community, and discover ways to cultivate these essential elements in our own lives and communities.

Please note: this is a closed event for Black 2SLGBTQI+ people.


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.


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.


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.

Resisting Anti-Blackness in the Education System


Watch the recording of the conversation between our panelists Alyssa Gray-Tyghter and Teneile Warren as they explore the intersections of Blackness, queerness, and transness.

This hour long video is a great resource to identify how anti-blackness functions in the education system and ways to resist it.



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.

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