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February 1, 2018 – Black History Month

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without

roots.” Marcus Garvey

February is Black History Month in Canada – a time to celebrate and recognize the contributions of people of African descent to the Canadian mosaic.

The first national recognition of Black History Month was in February 1996.

In 1995, Members of Parliament voted unanimously in favour of a Motion introduced by the Honourable Jean Augustine, M.P. –

 That this House take note of the important contribution of black Canadians to the settlement, growth and development of Canada, the diversity of the black community in Canada and its importance to the history of this country, and recognize February as black history month.

In 2008, Senator Donald Oliver moved to have the Senate of Canada officially recognize Black History Month, which was unanimously approved.

I encourage all Canadians to take the time to learn about the history and experiences of black Canadians – the struggle, triumphs and the significant contributions that have been made, and are being made, to our multicultural society.

As a new month of reflection and celebration begins, let us all consider the important reasons why Black History Month is observed each year.

Toronto is a proud multicultural city that embraces a wide variety of cultures and faiths.  Our city flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. It is important to recognize each and every community that plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.

As the Newcomer’s Advocate with the City of Toronto I strongly believe that we must work to together to promote togetherness. We must Respect our newcomer communities. We must Accept our newcomer communities. We should Celebrate our diversity and Embrace our different cultures and traditions, because we are all part of the human RACE.

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