Celebrating Black History Month in Burnaby Schools

Black History Month provides a wonderful opportunity in our schools to celebrate the richness of what makes us unique. Burnaby is a diverse community, with nearly half of our student population speaking a first language at home other than English.

Our schools mark Black History Month (February) in a variety of ways. Over the past few years, Burnaby Mountain Secondary students have come together to form a group known as the Black Student Cultural Committee. This year students decided to expand and re-named the group REACH (Racial Equality Across Cultural Heritages). Together they promote inclusivity and celebrate diversity. The focus of the student-led group this year is on building cultural connections and deepening understanding, with a view toward social justice. The students also put their efforts into co-coordinating two anti-racism youth symposiums to support Black History Month and promote equity for vulnerable youth. One symposium was held February 13 at a Coquitlam secondary school. Burnaby and Coquitlam students were joined by their peers from Surrey and Maple Ridge. A second symposium will be held on March 6 in Surrey. The student discussion at Burnaby Mountain has included conversations about how to “honour our past, our identities, and our struggles while working together to change our narratives.”

At the elementary school level, Edmonds Community School hosted a family event with the African Descent Society and the African Canadian Youth Engagement Society, after a successful collaboration last year. The February 21 focused on community and sharing culture. (See the event poster with its powerful graphic below.)

The increasingly global nature of Burnaby provides us with unique educational opportunities for all of our students. Learning first-hand about other perspectives – whether it be about cultural awareness or other expressions of who you are – benefits us all.



~ Posted February 2019