February is Black History Month

The District of West Vancouver joins people and organizations across Canada to celebrate Black History Month. This year the Government of Canada announced that the theme for Black History month 2024 is "Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build". This theme celebrates the rich past and present contributions and accomplishments of Black people in Canada, while aspiring to embrace new opportunities for the future.

Black History Month began in the United States, originally proposed by Black educators and students at Kent State University in 1969. February was chosen as it was the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the US President who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and Frederick Douglass, a Black orator, social reformer, writer and abolitionist. The first Black History Month was officially recognized in the US in 1976.

Canada has recognized and celebrated Black History Month since 1995, following the initiative of the Honourable Jean Augustine, Canada’s first black Member of Parliament.

During this month, it is an important time for all of us to not only reflect on the foundational history, but also recognize the many Black Canadians who are shaping the history today. 

Black History Month offers the chance for the community to come together to recognize and celebrate important achievements of Black people in our community and around the world.  In addition to celebration, Black History Month is an important time to learn, unpack, and take action to dismantle the anti-Black racism that pervades all aspects of Canadian society at interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels.

Opportunities to learn more:

The District is committed to addressing systemic racism in the organization by providing education to build awareness, educating staff, and developing a policy to measure and improve organizational diversity, equity and inclusion.