The theme for Black History Month 2024 is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build. From community mixers, movie nights, and art explorations, Pathways Program locations have a multitude of activities to reflect on the rich tapestry of Black heritage and to consider the exciting opportunities that lie ahead as youth build on the foundations laid by those who came before them. Take a look at some of the exciting events happening this February:
Discussion on Black history, food, and music.
An interactive PowerPoint will be presented at the Black History Social Night. Various Black communities in Canada, food, and popular styles of Black music in Canada will be presented.
Africville Paint & Learn
This will combine the idea of a paint night activity with the historic Africville Church as the painting focus. The artist leading will bring first- and secondhand lived experiences to share, taking us on a journey back to the history of the settlement and the atrocities against that community. We will explore how these events impacted those here today and work through any questions that arise. There will be a hot chocolate bar and debrief after the event led by one of our Student Parent Support Workers.
Black History Month at Pathways Hamilton
A 4-week series throughout February that features Black Canadian artists and their art. We decided to highlight Black artists to align with the Compass Racial Justice Diversity and Inclusion committee’s theme. These same posts will also be printed and hung in the program locations.
Black History Month Games Night Kick Off
An opportunity to be amongst peers and enjoy a fun night of games and snacks.
Black History Month Paint Night
An opportunity for youth to explore their creativity through artistic expression.
Black History Month Trivia Night
An opportunity to be amongst peers and enjoy a fun night of Black-focused trivia with prizes.
Black History Month Cultural Fashion Show
A cultural celebration, bringing Africa and the Caribbean together through cultural wear, food, music and vendors.
Black History Month Movie Night
At the end of the month, there will be a movie night chill where youth can lounge and hang out together while enjoying a movie.
Historic Neighborhood Tour + Celebrating Heritage (on site activity)
Thanks to the initiative of our youth workers, we’ve organized a guided historical tour of a neighbouring community in Montreal. Additionally, in line with the announcement that the theme for Black History Month in Canada is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build, we will be promoting impact stories and celebrating youths’ heritage during regular tutoring activities.
Pathways Regent Park
Strengthening Our Roots (Volume 2), a Black History Month Youth & Community Mixer
A dynamic event providing a unique opportunity to showcase the diversity of our Black communities in the downtown east of Toronto and uplift youth voices.
Pathways Scarborough Village
“Black is Now” Black History Month Celebration
Youth will attend an evening party celebration and play day with an anticipated turn out of 100+ participants. The event will feature games, raffles, arts activities, music, and food, all of which will be in celebration and observance of Black identity and excellence in Scarborough Village. Additionally, an artisanal goods marketplace will be hosted by a Black girls’ group to raise funds for the creation of “care packages” for populations in need in Scarborough Village.
So why are Pathways Program locations running these events? What does Black History Month mean to them? Here’s what they have to say:
|“We have a fairly large Black community both in the region and among our participants. This will allow second generation Canadians in particular to share their culture with their peers.”
|“Black history month is a time to reflect on what was, take notice of what is now and learn how we all can play a part in celebrating the contributions that have been made while pushing equality and justice forward.”
|“Black History Month is a time to learn, celebrate, highlight contributions and success as well as share in the rich and diverse cultures amongst Black people.”
|“An incredible opportunity to highlight the importance of the culture and heritage of our local and national communities. It’s an occasion to reflect and recognize the historical and ongoing impact of Black communities throughout Canada and the world.”
|“Black History Month holds immense significance for our program as it is a time that allows us to continue to uplift Black voices, celebrate the rich history and contributions of the Black communities locally, share our diasporic cultures, and demonstrate our commitment to increased representation and engagement within Regent Park. It is an opportunity to bring together youth and families to celebrate Black excellence through food, music, performances, raffles, tables of community services/programs, pop-ups of local Black entrepreneurs and more. Strengthening Our Roots serves as a powerful expression of our commitment to youth leadership and engagement, and to bringing the community together in celebration.”
–Pathways Regent Park
|“The celebration of Black History Month simultaneously sheds light on the resilience and grit shown by Black people throughout history both locally and globally; while still calling to action and attention the urgency and breadth of work still to be done in combatting deeply entrenched structures of anti-Black racism still prevalent in our community and country today.”
–Pathways Scarborough Village
A huge thank you to Pathways Program staff, who are dedicated to not just educating about Black history, but also motivating young individuals to embrace their identity with confidence and to recognize what impact they may have on the world.