Black History Month

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Together We Rise Durham: Black History, Intersectionality and Joy

Thank you to everyone who joined us on February 1 for the kick-off of Black History Month! Check back weekly as we share event highlights and resources.

Subscribe to receive updates directly to your inbox on the upcoming celebration. Throughout February, we will also share information on community resources.

Watch the 2024 Black History Month celebration




Event Highlights

Five people sitting at a table having a discussion in front of an audience.Panel members discussing Black History, intersectionality and joy. From left to right: Moderator, Vidal Chavannes; Panellists, Dr. Andrew Bernard Thomas, Liza Arnason, Debbie Miles-Senior and Shellene Drakes-Tull.

Lift Your Voice choir singingLift Your Voice Choir

a drummer performing.
Ngoma Ensemble


Three dancers performing.Riddim Cultural Arts Program


Together We Rise Durham Partners


Together We Rise Durham is hosted by The Regional Municipality of Durham, in partnership with Durham Regional Police Service, Canadian Jamaican Club of Oshawa, City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Congress of Black Women Whitby/Oshawa, DurhamONE, Lakeridge Health, Municipality of Clarington, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce, The Township of Brock, Town of Ajax and Town of Whitby.

About Black History Month

Each year in February, Black History Month is recognized in Canada. This month honours and celebrates the contributions that Black Canadians have made to the country; acknowledges the present day impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slavery in Canada; and continues to advocate for the dismantling of anti-Black racism in Canada.

Together We Rise Durham: Black History, Intersectionality and Joy

Thank you to everyone who joined us on February 1 for the kick-off of Black History Month! Check back weekly as we share event highlights and resources.

Subscribe to receive updates directly to your inbox on the upcoming celebration. Throughout February, we will also share information on community resources.

Watch the 2024 Black History Month celebration




Event Highlights

Five people sitting at a table having a discussion in front of an audience.Panel members discussing Black History, intersectionality and joy. From left to right: Moderator, Vidal Chavannes; Panellists, Dr. Andrew Bernard Thomas, Liza Arnason, Debbie Miles-Senior and Shellene Drakes-Tull.

Lift Your Voice choir singingLift Your Voice Choir

a drummer performing.
Ngoma Ensemble


Three dancers performing.Riddim Cultural Arts Program


Together We Rise Durham Partners


Together We Rise Durham is hosted by The Regional Municipality of Durham, in partnership with Durham Regional Police Service, Canadian Jamaican Club of Oshawa, City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Congress of Black Women Whitby/Oshawa, DurhamONE, Lakeridge Health, Municipality of Clarington, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce, The Township of Brock, Town of Ajax and Town of Whitby.

About Black History Month

Each year in February, Black History Month is recognized in Canada. This month honours and celebrates the contributions that Black Canadians have made to the country; acknowledges the present day impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and slavery in Canada; and continues to advocate for the dismantling of anti-Black racism in Canada.

  • Fostering inclusive communities

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    Lift Your Voice Choir performing at the Durham Region Black History Month Celebration on February 1.

    Black History Month Celebration Highlight

    On February 1, the Lift Your Voice Choir— made up of students from Michaëlle Jean Public School, and led by teacher, Chantelle Barham—performed their original arrangement of Lift Every Voice and Sing, titled That’s Why I Lift My Voice. Watch the welcoming and opening section of the Black History Month Celebration at durham.ca/BlackHistoryMonth.

    Together We Rise Durham Partners

    Municipalities across Durham Region are dedicated to supporting welcoming and inclusive communities.

    • The City of Oshawa has proclaimed and honours February 2024 as Black History Month. In celebration, the City is showcasing Black entrepreneurs and their businesses that have contributed to making the Oshawa community unique. Reasons to Support Black-owned Businesses: Supporting Black-owned businesses helps Oshawa’s communities grow and thrive; in general, Black entrepreneurs and professionals may have additional barriers to owning a small business. Supporting Black-owned businesses can help overcome some of these barriers to help Black business owners succeed; and supporting Black-owned businesses is a way of celebrating different Black cultures and the communities they represent. Learn more at oshawa.ca/blackhistorymonth.
    • The Municipality of Clarington is the fastest-growing municipality in Durham Region, and there’s good reason for it. Clarington has a fortunate balance of urban living and rural charm, a great quality of life and an incredibly bright future. With a priority to cultivate a strong, thriving and connected community where everyone is welcome, Clarington is proud to celebrate Black History Month in partnership with the Region of Durham. As part of Black History Month, plan to attend Clarington’s Black Vendor Village on February 24. Learn more about the Municipality of Clarington at clarington.net.
    • At the Town of Ajax, diversity is our strength. We have the fastest-growing diverse population and value the many contributions of our community. We celebrate Black History Month by showcasing Black excellence in our Town. It is a time of celebrating, reflecting, and recognizing the many remarkable contributions made by people of African and Caribbean descent throughout history. From arts and culture to music, sports, politics and more, Black people have made countless contributions that have shaped our world today. As part of the celebrations, we encourage the community to participate in Black History Month events to learn more about the important impact of Black Canadians in our community. For more information, visit ajax.ca/BHM.
    • The Town of Whitby believes in a town that is welcoming and inclusive for everyone. The Whitby Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee is made up of residents who advise Council on the elimination of barriers for the diverse population of our community. It helps foster a greater understanding of matters within the Town through community partnerships. Learn more about the Town of Whitby and the Whitby Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee.
    • The Township of Brock is the most northern municipality in the Region of Durham. Brock is a welcoming community, and our residents recognize the importance of celebrating Black History Month. The Township encourages Durham Region residents to participate in events and support the community organizations in the great work they do. Brock Libraries are honoured to showcase a Black History Month virtual event with Kern Carter, author of the teen novel Boys and Girls Screaming. Ken will share his creative process and personal journey of breaking through a challenging career. To learn more about our event please visit Brock Libraries events and Township of Brock events.

    For more Black History Month event highlights, visit durham.ca/BlackHistoryMonth.

  • Supporting vibrant and healthy communities

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    During the February 1 panel presentation, Dr. Andrew Dr. Andrew Bernard Thomas sitting at a table, speaking into a microphone. Liza Arnason is listening to the conversation.Dr. Andrew Bernard Thomas speaking at the Together We Rise Durham Black History Month celebration on February 1.Bernard Thomas discusses the challenges and systemic barriers that Black doctors face throughout their career, the work that the Black Physicians Association of Ontario is doing to support Black doctors; the importance of representation and the value that allies bring to supporting healthy communities. Watch the panel discussion at durham.ca/BlackHistoryMonth.

    Together We Rise Durham

    There are many partners that are working to dismantle health inequities and other systemic barriers to health care faced by Black communities. Learn more below.

    • Lakeridge Health offers a wide range of health-care services, including acute, ambulatory, and long-term care, all guided by their vision of One System. Best Health. As the largest health-care provider in Durham Region, their 8,700 staff, physicians, and volunteers are committed to promoting a culture that is free from anti-Black racism and other inequities.
      I Belong – their Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Anti-Racism (IDEAA) Multi-Year Action Plan – sets the foundation to embed an IDEAA lens in everything they do and allows Lakeridge Health to foster a culture where everyone feels they can work and receive care safely, openly and honestly. Learn more about Lakeridge Health.
    • Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a public teaching hospital providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services to those living with complex and serious mental illness. Exemplary patient care is delivered through safe and evidence-based approaches where successful outcomes are achieved using best clinical practices and the latest advances in research. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Learn more about Ontario Shores.
    • Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce (PABRT) is a dedicated committee of Council appointees who work in partnership with the Pickering community and the City of Pickering. Their goals include celebrating, conserving and promoting Black culture, heritage and history. Learn more about the PABRT.

    Also in Pickering is the Durham Community Health Centre: Black Health & Wellness Clinic, which provides access for Durham Region community members who identify as African, Caribbean or Black, to receive primary care support and culturally affirming care. Learn more about the Black Health & Wellness Clinic.

    For more Black History Month event highlights, visit durham.ca/BlackHistoryMonth.

  • Durham Region community organizations are strengthening connections, safety and well-being across communities in the region.

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    Community organizations including the Canadian Jamaican Club of Oshawa, DurhamONE and Congress of Black Women Whitby/Oshawa, play an important role in tackling systemic barriers and raising awareness about Black History and anti-Black racism. Learn more about the important work they do to foster inclusion in Durham Region.

    • MPPs Patrice Barnes and Lorne Coe, present Durham Region with scrolls.MPPs Patrice Barnes and Lorne Coe, on behalf of the Province of Ontario, recognize Durham Region and community partners for their work to support Black History Month; recognition received by Patricia Hines, Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Durham Region. The Canadian Jamaican Club of Oshawa was founded in 1980 as a place where cultural fusion thrives and friendships flourish. Established as a dynamic hub, their club celebrates the rich tapestry of Jamaican heritage woven into the Canadian fabric. United by a passion for diversity, members create a welcoming space where traditions are honoured, and new connections are forged. The club serves diverse members throughout Durham Region and caters to people of all ages. "Many Cultures, One People." Learn more about the Canadian Jamaican Club of Oshawa.
    • DurhamONE is a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing barriers encountered by different groups in the community. Central to their mission is the firm belief in the strength of community voices. Through actively amplifying these voices and addressing their concerns, DurhamONE remains committed to ensuring that everyone is heard and has access to systems and institutions, regardless of their background or circumstances. With a deep understanding that various groups encounter distinct challenges, DurhamONE tirelessly works to identify and overcome these barriers, fostering a more fair and inclusive community. Learn more about DurhamONE.

    "Not acknowledging Black history is like looking at a shattered mirror of our past." PG Case, DurhamONE.

    • Congress of Black Women Whitby/Oshawa is on a mission to provide a forum for Black women to improve their lives by identifying and addressing issues which affect them, their families and their communities. As an organization, they aim create and maintain a supportive and enabling environment for Black women and their families and to foster a sense of sisterhood; to provide leadership to Black youth; and work to implement programs and activities to assist in meeting community needs. Learn more about the Congress of Black Women Whitby/Oshawa.

    For more event highlights, visit durham.ca/BlackHistoryMonth.


Page last updated: 23 Feb 2024, 01:07 PM