February is Black History Month. As early childhood educators and as a community, this is a time for us to learn, unlearn, and examine how our actions must work to support racial justice. The AECEO aims to continuously challenge systemic racism and colonial structures that harm Black children, families, and educators within the early childhood education and care sector. Acknowledging that Black educators also face specific challenges in accessing progressive economic and professional opportunities is important to consider as we aim for transformative change.
We know there’s a lot of work to be done towards justice and equality and there will be uncomfortable and even painful conversations and experiences along the way. We also must ensure that Black community members are not tasked with carrying the burden of everyone’s collective learning.
We remain committed to building a society that values and celebrates Black history and culture, by promoting Black leadership and actively working against systems that surveil, oppress, and disparage Blackness. On February 28th, we will be hosting a Professional Learning opportunity with the Seneca Early Childhood Educators Black Students Association, and we look forward to sharing more details and registration soon.
Below you will find a list of resources that includes suggested readings, videos and local events for all ages in different regions of the province. We suggest you explore this compilation of resources, attend a local event if you’re able to and share these within your community so others can access them. We encourage all early childhood educators and members of the early learning community to join us in dedicating time and effort to critically examining pedagogy, historical and current narratives and committing to specific work that promotes the participation of Black educators, children and families as leaders in our sector and community.
Local Events in Ontario
- A Celebration of Black History Month Amherstburg, ON
- What Would Ms. Hina Do? Themes and lessons from the novel Scarborough. Allyship, community, in the context of Black History Month Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:00PM at the Peter A. Herrndorf Place, National Arts Centre - City of Ottawa & Ottawa Public Library
- Black History Month Events - City of Ottawa & Ottawa Public Library
- Black History Month Events - London Black History Coordinating Committee
- Black History Month Events 2023 - Rhythm & Blues Cambridge
- Black Histories Wikipedia & Wikidata Edit-a-thon (2023) - Toronto Public Library (online, open to any region) February 3rd. 8th, 10th, 17th and 24th 1:00-4:00 PM EST
- Black History and Culture Programming - Toronto Public Library
- Black History Month Events - Hamilton Public Library
- Black History Month - Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association
- February 2023 Calendar - The Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region
- Dis/Mantle - Art Exhibit on display until May 28th at Spadina House, Toronto.
- Black History Month Festival - Association for the Study of African American Life and History
- Elinor Williams Hooker Tea Talks 2023 - Bringing it Back: Conversations We Still Need - Sundays, February 5th - March 12th 2-3:30 PM (EST) online attendance available
- Amber Starks on Blackness and Indigeneity - Room Magazine Black History Month Interview Feature
- Being Black in Canada - CBC
- A progress report on anti-racism policy in Canada - People for Education
- Building an anti-racist child care system in Canada - Policy Options
- Jean Augustine, first Black female MP and Cabinet minister - The Canadian Encyclopedia
- British Columbia’s Black pioneers: Their industry and character influenced the vision of Canada - BC Black History Society
- Reading Lists - Toronto Public Library
Resources for Educators and Caregivers
- Community of Black ECEs - AECEO Communities of Practice are self-determined learning groups that connect folks to supports, resources, and shared experiences to strengthen a unified early years workforce
- A Different Booklist - a Canadian, independent, multicultural bookstore specializing in books from the African Caribbean Diaspora and the Global South.
- Afro Women and Youth Foundation - a Black-Led and Black-Serving organization that provides leadership, empowerment, and mentorship programs to Newcomers, Black Women and Youth
- Centering the Voices of Racialized Mothers and Educators in Shaping Child Care Response and Recovery in Ontario - an Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Project, funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada
- Haymarket Books - Haymarket Books is a radical, independent, nonprofit book publisher based in Chicago, IL.
- EmbraceRace - a community space that gathers resources and knowledge needed to meet the challenges faced by those raising children in a world where race matters.
- Woke Kindergarten - a global, abolitionist early childhood ecosystem & visionary creative portal supporting children, families, educators and organizations in their commitment to abolitionist early education and pro-black and queer and trans liberation.
- The Conscious Kid - an education, research and policy organization that supports families and educators in taking action to disrupt racism, inequity and bias
- Gal-dem - An online media publication, committed to telling the stories of people of colour from marginalized genders.
Video and Film Recommendations
- Why we need to celebrate Black Joy - Valerie June (TEDxNashvilleSalon)
- Black Communities in Canada: a Rich History - National Film Board of Canada
- 5 Black Canadian History Documentaries, compiled by Black in the Maritimes
- The Skin We're In: Pulling back the curtain on racism in Canada - CBC Docs POV
- bell hooks & john a. powell: Belonging Through Connection - Othering & Belonging Conference 2015