The Limestone Lens
Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity
Originally, this issue's focus was going to be solely on celebrating Black History Month, highlighting past and present Black Canadian stories and exemplary individuals.
The plan for this issue abruptly changed, however, on January 6th, when the US Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters, empowered by a culture of white privilege and systemic racism.
That afternoon, the entire world bore witness to the ugly consequences of what happens when racism and "white supremacy" were left unchecked.
So, let's collectively check ourselves.
While we honour Black History Month, let's also acknowledge how the history of systemic racism has led us to moments like January 6th's attack.
After all, we need to know where we were, to fully understand present-day situations, to move forward together, united in truth and action.
This month, let's acknowledge, reach out and act!
Silence Is Violence
-Layla F. Saad, "me and white supremacy"
"Acknowledge that you don't know what to say."
"Acknowledge that you have questions and that you're seeing people in pain. The worst thing that you can do is ignore the pain because you're perpetuating it at that point. When you see someone on fire and you look the other way because it makes you uncomfortable, you are complicit in that person being on fire and that fire spreading."
- Michelle Saahene
"I'm not saying that you have to speak out and have this, you know, this whole spiel about black lives matter.
I'm not even necessarily saying that I need you to post. But at the bare minimum, a friend would reach out to another friend. 'How are you doing during this time? I'll admit that I've been silent. I'll admit that I've ignored some of the issues that you face as a black person. But I want you to know that I'm your friend and I see you and I hear you.' I am paying attention to friends that aren't doing that."
- Rachel Lindsay
"If that means, there's a protest today at 3 o'clock. I'm going. In Times Square. If that means getting up and protesting. If that means donating. If that means speaking in your own words on your Instagram, your Twitter, your Facebook, your outlet, your ways of mass communication, then do it. Stop hesitating. Stop thinking that you'll get it wrong. There is no getting it wrong. There's just doing it."
- Jelani Alladin
This February, Let's ACKNOWLEDGE Canada's Rich Black History!
Explore Historic Sites and Stories!
The Ontario Black History Society:
"Join us as we feature community recognition profiles, Black history, entertainment, museum tours and so much more.
History…Who We Are! "
The Periodic Table of Canadian Black History:
"As demonstrated by #BlackedOutHistory from the Ontario Black History Society, the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians are often excluded from textbooks and curriculum. The Periodic Table of Canadian Black History is a tool that educators, students, and families can use to explore and celebrate the stories, voices, and accomplishments of Black Canadians."
Listen to and Acknowedge Canada's Truths!
"Kyle G. Brown looks at slavery in colonial Canada in a two-part IDEAS series.
The interviews in this podcast explore historical connections to slavery and its systemic aftermath."
"Special Guest historian and President of the Ontario Black History Society Natasha Henry joins us to speak about the not-so-distant history of Ontario's racially segregated schools."
Watch and Learn from Incredible Black Canadians!
"CBC is celebrating BLACK HISTORY MONTH throughout February with a wide range of programming on all platforms featuring Black creators, storytellers and changemakers, curated and discoverable in one place on CBC’s BEING BLACK IN CANADA website (cbc.ca/BeingBlackInCanada)."
National Film Board:
"The films in this playlist are some of the most important NFB portrayals of Black communities in Canada and paints a picture of a thriving part of our society in constant evolution."
Let's REACH OUT And Learn from Our Incredible Black Canadian Community!
Let's ACT By...
Continuing to Learn,
Book Store: https://www.adifferentbooklist.com/
A DIFFERENT BOOKLIST IS AN AFRICAN-CANADIAN 0WNED BOOKSTORE SHOWCASING THE LITERATURE OF THE AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN DIASPORA, THE GLOBAL SOUTH AND ALL THE MAJOR PUBLISHERS AND INDEPENDENTS
6 Must-Read Canadian Nonfiction Works for Black History Month
25 Books About Being Black In Canada
The Canadian Children's Book Centre
Toronto Public Library
Recommended reading for adults, teens and children in celebration of Black History Month.
Link to Kingston Frontenac Public Library's Black History Month Event:
Link to LDSB's Black History Month Resource:
Continuing to Engage,
The Ontario Heritage Trust organizes an annual event called “Heritage Matters Live,” which works with an internationally renowned Canadian, to examine concepts related to the history and heritage of our province, and this year’s lecturer is the award-winning author Esi Edugyan, whose most recent novel, Washington Black, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Ms. Edugyan writes historical fiction that covers issues relating to race, identity, belonging, among other things. The lecture is being held virtually at our Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden, a museum built on the site of the Black settlement that Rev. Josiah Henson helped found. The site takes its name from Harriet Beecher Stowe's successful 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, featuring a character named Tom (loosely based on Josiah Henson).
This year, given the broad appeal of her novels and our need to deliver this event digitally, we are targeting 2 of the 5 lecture broadcasts for students/schools in February – which links with Black History Month programming. The pre-recorded lecture and a virtual visit to Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site is free to all participants. Pre-registration is required to view what will be a 70-minute lecture that includes a Q&A with young Black Ontarians, and leaders within the Black history community.
The lecture is ideal for grades 7 and up. I’ve included the education/school invite as an attachment – the two broadcast dates are February 18 and 23 (in the morning). Please share with your networks.
The three additional broadcast dates/times will be available during evenings for the general public, if members of your teams are looking for some professional development or something new and different to watch one evening! More information and registration can be found on the event page www.heritagetrust.on.ca/hml
And Continuing Our Journey Together!
"What is racism? How did we get here? How can we chart a way forward?
If you want to make a difference and have been inspired to take action to address racism, then this webinar is for you. Racist ideas, policies, and structures have led us to the destructive and oppressive territory we all find ourselves in, whether we can read the roadsigns or not. We have to get the lay of the land and a new compass if we want to chart an effective course toward liberation and healing.
In this webinar, participants will examine the relationships between historical events, institutional frameworks, the ideology of white supremacy, white privilege and colorism and how those things come together to construct the social norms, stereotypes, and bias which inform our perception and behavior in schools. Participants will also explore ways to take action and address racism.
This webinar will be delivered via Zoom videoconferencing. Attendees will be emailed the link to the Zoom meeting several hours before the start of the webinar in order to maintain a secure online space. This email will be sent to the address you registered with when you purchased your ticket through Eventbrite. If you have accessibility needs, please contact us directly.
This webinar is designed for education workers, educators working with students in all grades, and parents /caregivers. Tickets are available for purchase at a variety of price points to increase accessibility.
Mante Molepo is an equity and anti-racism advisor, founding member, and Director of Parents for Diversity. She works on anti-racism in education, including developing provincial guidelines for teaching anti-Black racism. Mante also works with companies, nonprofits, and governments on issues related to anti-oppression."
The Limestone Lens: Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity
As Limestone District School Board employees, we are all a part of this learning journey. If you have ideas about future equity topics or terminology, please contact Rae McDonald.