West Island College celebrated Black History Month this year by engaging students in important conversations, hosting guest speakers who brought black history and geography to the classroom, and by exposing students to black culture in a variety of ways – with sights, sounds, tastes and smells that delighted all.
To kick off the month Overture with the Arts returned for a third year in a row to present the next chapter of Tracking Black Canada, the forgotten stories of early black communities in Canada. This virtual presentation engaged our students through Slam Poetry, videos and audience interaction.
During lunch hours, there was Caribbean, Haitian and African music playing in the cafeteria and on February 10th, Tasty Touch, a Montreal based catering service gave our students and staff a delicious taste of Caribbean culture with yummy filled Jamaican patties and coconut turnovers from Trinidad and Tobago.
WIC’s partnership with the ACDPN (African Canadian Development and Prevention Network) continued to flourish this month with the Amazing Race which focuses on famous BIPOC figures around school. The ACDPN Youth group taught students about how to build and contribute to an inclusive community through a Black History Trivia game.
Pacôme Tagbo, founder of Montreal boxing training facility, Tagbo Training Studio, wove our school’s theme of growth into his senior school presentation. He shared his inspiring journey of hard work, humility and the importance of never giving up.
Finally Lexis Beattie, the founder of I am Heshima, a non-profit registered charity organization dedicated to providing access to education in Kenya and one of our community service partners, came to our campus on two occasions this month sharing the stories behind the handmade items from Kenya and her presentation on Being Human, her journey and how we can all make a difference.
From touching the beautiful bead work from Kenya, to listening to Haitien music, reading about the different Black historians around school or smelling and tasting the Caribbean flavors, our students and staff were introduced to people, organizations and businesses that are passionate about making a difference and advocating for our local, provincial, national and world wide Black communities.