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Celebrating Black Excellence Beyond Black History Month

More than 100 Black youth and allies celebrated Black excellence at a kick-off event in October designed to create opportunities to come together beyond Black History Month and Black Excellence Day.

Co-organized by the Burnaby School District and the New Westminster School District, the morning field-trip event also included students from Coquitlam and Vancouver. They gathered at a movie theatre in New West to view the documentary Handle with Care: The Legend of the Notic Streetball Crew. It looks back on the journey of local street basketball legends The Notic, an exceptional group of racially diverse teens from the suburbs of Vancouver.

The film’s use of archival VHS footage showcased the players’ impressive moves, while revealing their struggles. It explored issues of race, trauma and rejection as well as friendship, love, joy and hope. The Grade 10 to 12 students in attendance also had a chance to hear directly from members of The Notic. Rory Grace and John Mubanda attended the event and participated in a question and answer session. Students were also treated to a video address from Joey Haywood – known as The King Handles – who invited those present to participate in a complementary basketball camp.

Ninandotoo Society sponsored the gathering, and their President Kamika Williams provided the welcoming address. Opening remarks were shared by Candace Knoll, President of the Jr. Black Achievement Awards.

Scroll down to read more about celebrating culture and diversity in Burnaby Schools.

Read about awareness-building efforts, opportunities to celebrate culture and diversity, as well as anti-racism work happening in Burnaby Schools:

Learning Through Indigenous Teachings and Honouring Culture – Multiple Stories

Next Steps Coming: Action on Racism – September 2022

Anti-Racism Lead Nominated for Premier’s Award for Work in District – September 2022

Burnaby students drum for National Indigenous Peoples Day – Burnaby Now, June 2022

Westridge student Raven Rocha and Burnaby Village Museum programmer Nicole Preissl unveil the reconciliation crosswalk design, slated for Union Street this summer – Burnaby Beacon, June 2022

Burnaby to install first-ever reconciliation crosswalk – Vancouver Sun, June 2022

Students design reconciliation crosswalk in Burnaby – Global TV, June 2022

Raising Diverse Student Voices and Opportunities – May 2022

Honouring Community Traditions and Practices – May 2022

Securing Black Futures Brings High Schoolers to UBC – The Tyee, May 2022

How more B.C. schools are supporting Muslim students during Ramadan – CBC News, April 2022

Burnaby school club raises Black student voices – Burnaby Now, April 2022

Honouring and Learning About Black History – February 2022

Paving the path forward for Black history curriculum in BC – Burnaby Beacon, February 2022

Black Excellence Day event hosted by Burnaby school district draws 12,000-plus – Burnaby Now, January 2022

Black Excellence Day, CBC TV News, January 2022

District Hosting Black Excellence Day for Thousands – January 2022

Reports of Racism in Burnaby Schools Bring Trustees to Tears – Burnaby Now, December 2021

Video of Bhangra dancing Burnaby kindergarteners goes viral-ish – Burnaby Now, November 2021

Art project to honour Indigenous culture – Burnaby Beacon, November 2021

Meet the Indigenous elder creating space for learning through art in Burnaby – Burnaby Beacon, September 2021

Opinion: Burnaby schools doing more than reflecting – we’re taking action – Burnaby Now, September 2021

All Burnaby school trustees to give one day’s pay for Truth and Reconciliation Day – Burnaby Now, September 2021

Burnaby valedictorian urges fellow Indigenous grads to define Truth and Reconciliation for themselves – Burnaby Now, June 2021

Parents Asked for Input on Racism in Burnaby Schools – Burnaby Now, May 2021

Dismantling Racism: Invitation to Engagement Process – May 2021

Asian Heritage Month: Honouring, Celebrating and Taking Action – May 2021

Opinion: Burnaby has come together to battle anti-Asian racism – Burnaby Now, May 2021

Burnaby school board approves anti-racism engagement process – Burnaby Now, April 2021

Black History Month: Celebrating & Learning – February 2021

BIPOC students find validation, hope amid discussions about race at Black History Month youth conference – CBC News, February 2021

B.C. students, teachers, don black shirts Friday for 1st unofficial day against racism – Global News, January 2021

Supporting Black Shirt Day – January 2021

Burnaby School District Takes Action to Tackle Racism and Discrimination in its Schools – CBC TV, December 2020

Anti-racism work at Burnaby schools starts at the top – Burnaby Now, October 2020

Continuing Our Journey: Supporting Anti-Racism – October 2020

Burnaby school district to develop anti-racism action plan – Burnaby Now, June 2020

Action on Racism: Burnaby Board of Education – June 2020

Burnaby school takes ‘reconciliaction’ with Indigenous welcome carving – Burnaby Now, November 2019

Burnaby museum works to undo erasure of local Indigenous history – Burnaby Now, November 2019

Celebrating Black History Month in Burnaby Schools – February 2019

‘Fate’ brings Indigenous hip-hop artist to Burnaby school for music video shoot – Burnaby Now, February 2019

Posted October 2022