OSSTF/FEESO Statement – Black History Month

February 1, 2024 – Every February, OSSTF/FEESO celebrates Black History Month, which serves as an important opportunity to reflect on how we as a Federation and as individuals can continue to challenge and dismantle anti-Black racism in schools, workplaces, communities, on campuses, and in our union.
The national theme for Black History Month 2024 is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build,” and celebrates the rich and important history of Black Canadians and their many achievements, while reminding us all that there is much work left to be done to ensure a better and more equitable future for all Canadians.
Black History stretches deep into the Canadian fabric and deserves far more than a single month of recognition. Canadian Black history should be taught and celebrated year-round, not just in February.
From reflection and acknowledgment, we must all move towards action. Rosemary Brown, educator, writer, and B.C. politician was the first Black woman elected to a Canadian Provincial legislature. Brown said that, “We must open the doors, and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through.”
It’s up to all of us to ensure that Black curriculum is taught throughout the year, that anti-Blackness is unlearned in our school spaces, and that we create safer spaces for Black youth, educators, and education workers in our schools and on our campuses.
Throughout the month of February, OSSTF/FEESO will be featuring profiles, events, and resources on our website and social media feeds, starting with a special teaser video today!
OSSTF/FEESO also supports the national labour movement’s campaign, led by the Canadian Labour Congress. This year’s theme is “Black Resistance” and they are calling on supporters to send an action letter to their Member of Parliament to tell the government that we want to see justice for Black workers and their communities.