February marks Black History Month, a significant time for the child care advocacy community to engage in learning, unlearning, and critically examining how our actions contribute to systems that perpetuate racism in Canada. While this month is an important time for reflection, action and celebration; practicing anti-racism and unlearning prejudice is not limited to the month of February. As child care advocates, anti-racism must always be a part of our practice. The movement towards a universal system of high quality, equitable, and accessible child care cannot happen without the deconstruction of systems that uphold racism and prejudice.
In examining past systems of early learning and childcare in Canada as well as looking at new systems we must recognize the presence and impact anti-Black racism has had and continues to have on these systems. Child Care Now is committed to challenging systemic racism and colonial structures that adversely affect Black children, families, and educators in the child care sector.
We are committed to constructing a community of child care advocacy that not only values and celebrates Black history and culture but actively promotes Black leadership. This is the time to uplift Black voices, share Black stories and Celebrate Black joy. We have compiled some readings and resources that may be powerful tools of individual change and may help us all to implement anti-racism in our daily lives.
Amber Starks on Blackness and Indigeneity – Room Magazine Black History Month Interview Feature
Being Black in Canada – CBC
A progress report on anti-racism policy in Canada – People for Education
Building an anti-racist child care system in Canada – Policy Options
Jean Augustine, first Black female MP and Cabinet minister – The Canadian Encyclopedia
The Legacy and Impact of Organizations led by Black Women in Canada – Government of Canada
Listen / Watch
Why the revolution can be Joyful – Valerie June (TEDxNashvilleSalon)
Black Communities in Canada: a Rich History – National Film Board of Canada
The Skin We’re In: Pulling back the curtain on racism in Canada – CBC Docs POV
Bell Hooks & John A. Powell: Belonging Through Connection – Othering & Belonging Conference 2015
You are the dream: Writers in Conversation – TPL Culture
Angela Davis: In Conversation – TPL Culture
Austin Clarke: Sometimes, A Motherless Child – Writers off the Page