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Students Presenting at Black Excellence Day Event for Thousands

Youth and staff from the Burnaby School District are among the organizers and speakers of the second annual Black Excellence Day, which is being hosted by the District and put on by the Ninandotoo Society – the organization that founded the day.

The event is taking place on Friday, January 13 at Byrne Creek Community School with thousands from school districts throughout BC signed up to join virtually. At least 20 school districts and five independent schools will be a part of it, with more than 30,000 attendees anticipated, more than doubling last year’s attendance.

The goal of the day is to raise awareness, uplift and bring hope to not only Black youth, but all racialized and non-racialized youth. Designed as a learning opportunity and celebration of Black achievements, stories, art, people, joy, love, and history, the timing of the event was scheduled to coincide with the last weekday before the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Participants will hear from several speakers including many presenters and performers, ranging from politicians and community organizers to athletes and artists. A student from Byrne Creek is among the youth who are sharing their own lived experiences, what Black Excellence means to them, and words of wisdom.

Events, such as this, are powerful opportunities for learning, building awareness and advocating for change. The District is continuing its broader work and journey to support an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment for all.

Learn more about Black Excellence Day and see a full list of presenters here.

See highlights from the event and celebration here.

Read the news coverage in the media:

High school students gather for Black Excellence Day – CityNews, January 15, 2023

Burnaby Black Excellence Day – CityNews, January 14, 2023

Celebrating contributions of Black Canadians – CBC TV News, January 13, 2023

Students, educators in Metro Vancouver celebrate 2nd annual Black Excellence Day – CBC News, January 13, 2023

Students and Educators in Metro Vancouver Celebrate 2nd Annual Black Excellence Day – Canada Today, January 13, 2023

Surrey students show solidarity by honouring Black Shirt Day and Black Excellence Day – Surrey Now/Leader, January 13, 2023

B.C. students celebrate 2nd annual Black Excellence Day – CBC News, January 13, 2023

Black Excellence day event hosted by Burnaby school district has 30K and counting registered – Burnaby Beacon, January 12, 2023

30K and counting registered for Black Excellence Day event hosted by Burnaby school district – Burnaby Now, January 11, 2023 

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

Celebrating Black Excellence Beyond Black History Month – October 2022

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


Updated January 16, 2023