Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on Campus

February is Black History Month

February 1, 2024

February is Black History Month, an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities, who have been a part of shaping Canada’s heritage and identity. The theme for Black History Month 2024 is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build. You can learn more about Black history in Canada on the Government of Canada website.

Black History Month at RRC Polytech

RRC Polytech is committed to pursuing equity, diversity and inclusion in everything we do. During Black History Month the College community is encouraged to heighten their awareness of the Black Canadians in our lives who impact us daily – celebrate their successes and contributions and spend time learning about the many ways cultural diversity enriches our lives.       

Library & Academic Services has created the Anti-Black Racism Learning Toolkit to help everyone better understand racism and how to take action against it. An additional list of resources will be shared below.

New members of the College’s Anti-Racism Action Committee are always welcome to join a working group of motivated staff and students dedicated to making a difference across our campuses. If you are interested in attending a meeting, please reach out to Co-Chair Rebecca Molly Hiebert.   

RRC Polytech is sponsoring a community event entitled Supporting the Winnipeg Black Collective: Action Vision & Change on February 16th at Fort Richmond Collegiate. All members of the College community are invited to show their support by attending the dinner and symposium featuring a keynote address by Canada’s award-winning Black Justice Strategy Co-author, Zilla Jones, BMA, JD.

The evening’s festivities will celebrate Afro-Caribbean Black Canadian communities’ by paying homage to its rich history and celebrating Afro-Caribbean Black (ACB) people’s great accomplishments in our present times. The evening’s social gathering will encourage audience members to dance, sing and contribute to a thought-provoking panel discussion on the Black experiences in Winnipeg, empowering ACB community members, and supporting local Black Businesses and Initiatives.

The third annual event is organized by the Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program (ACMP) and the University of Manitoba Black Alliance (UMBA). RSVP is required as space is limited.

Click for more details and to register

As part of the event sponsorship, one RRC Polytech student of African/Black descent (including international students) will be awarded a Book Bursary of $400, providing they submit their application before the deadline of February 10th.  Please encourage any students or classmates who might qualify to fill out the brief online form to apply.   

Click to apply

Black staff, alumni and students have previously shared some personal stories to help others better understand the significance of Black History Month and we recommend you revisit them through the following links:      

Sharing Stories – Tanya Hansen Pratt

Sharing Stories – Gbolahan Olutayo Oduntan

Sharing Stories – Phyllis Reid-Jarvis

Stay tuned to the Diversity blog and RRC Polytech’s social media channels for additional events and stories throughout February, as the celebration of Black History Month continues.

Staff are also encouraged to complete the Anti-Racism training on LEARN this month, if you haven’t already. The course speaks to unconscious bias, microaggressions, systemic racism, and privilege and purposefully challenges our staff to act when confronted with racism or discrimination, to create safe learning and working environments for all.

As we celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians, we also recognize the importance of equity and inclusion beyond the month of February. At RRC Polytech, we are committed to pursuing equity, diversity and inclusion in everything we do, year-round.

Additional Resources:

If you have any questions, please contact us at diversity@rrc.ca.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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