Black History Month at George Brown College

Student using desktop computer

We can’t be together in-person this year for Black History Month, but we'll come together online to celebrate excellence, discuss the impacts of anti-Black racism and efforts to fight it, and look forward to exciting new opportunities for Black students at George Brown College. 

You can take part in online programming organized by the Black Student Success Network (BSSN), the Student Life team and the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services. Find information about those events listed at the bottom of this page.

Moving forward after a tough year 

There’s no doubt—2020 was a tumultuous year. The world witnessed the pain, frustration and violence caused by systemic and anti-Black racism while a pandemic prevented us from face-to-face time with our support networks of friends and family. For George Brown College, the challenges of last year provided an important opportunity for us to build on our anti-racism efforts, to listen to our community and to develop a plan to act on that feedback.  

Maintaining momentum 

The global protests in response to the death of George Floyd and the ongoing efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement led to important conversations about anti-Black racism in our country, our city, and within our college community. A key part of our mission as a college is to “strengthen individuals and communities through education.” We can only achieve this if every George Brown student and employee feels included, supported and heard. We created an Anti-Racism Committee in 2020 and we took other actions with the goal of eliminating systemic racism at George Brown

We encourage everyone to learn about the work of the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services. This office leads anti-racism efforts, oversees sexual violence prevention and response, and manages the human rights complaints resolutions process. In the past year we’ve launched an Anti-Racism Strategy, training and education, and joined forces with organizations BlackNorth and the Onyx Initiative. We know there’s more to do. One of our top priorities as a college is hiring a new Director of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services. We have been working with BIPOC Executive Search to fill this position, and we expect to have news to share in the coming weeks. George Brown's senior management team will be participating in anti-racism training this month.

Student success in 2021 

A partnership with the Onyx Initiative will provide new opportunities for Black students to make professional connections with Black business executives. This mentorship opportunity was created to increase the representation of Black Canadians in the corporate world by providing students with mentorship, coaching, and online skills training. 

Find out how to apply

And while online learning and physical distancing continue to be part of our lives in 2021, the Black Student Success Network (BSSN) continues to provide a safe virtual space for students to share challenges they're facing, to receive academic support and to participate in virtual events.  

Follow the BSSN on Instagram - @bssn_gbc  

online Black History Month events at George Brown

Monday Feb. 1
Black History Month launch (Instagram @bssn_gbc)  

Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.
Let’s Talk with Adoniaa Beauty (Instagram @bssn_gbc

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Anti-Black racism workshop for employees
Register on Cornerstone

Thursday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. 
Socasize Fitness Class
showpass.com/socacize-fitness-class-2/

Wednesday, Feb. 10 
Black Historians Paved a Way tribute video (Instagram @bssn_gbc

Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. 
Let’s Talk with Donovan Mckenzie (Instagram @bssn_gbc

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Anti-Black racism workshop for students
Email diversity@georgebrown.ca or Alexandra.hill-mann@georgebrown.ca to register.

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. 
A Conversation with Desmond Cole 
Zoom event 

Friday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. 
Dinner and a Movie — Soul
Zoom event  

Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Anti-Black racism workshop for employees
Register on Cornerstone

Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.
#WhyNotMe Black Entrepreneur panel 
Are you interested in being an entrepreneur or social innovator? Come and engage with four amazing George Brown College alumni entrepreneurs/innovators as they discuss their individual journies and share tips. 
startgbc.com/event/whynotme

Thursday, Feb. 25, noon - 1 p.m.
Black History is in the Now, with Ravyn Wngz
The Office of Anti Racism, Equity & Human Rights Services (OAREHRS) will be hosting a talk with Ravyn Wngz. Ravyn is a Tanzanian, Bermudian, Mohawk, 2Spirit, empowerment movement storyteller of Trans experience. She is a co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company, The Artistic Director of Outrageous Victorious Africans Collective, a steering committee member of Black Lives Matter Toronto, and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Canada

To register, please email diversity@georgebrown.ca or Nicole.voisin@georgebrown.ca

Virtual Black History Month events in the greater community 

Throughout February
Ontario Black History Society online events
OBHS is hosting a speakers’ series throughout February.  

Throughout February
Toronto Public Library - Black History
Find events, podcasts and reading lists on the Toronto Public Library website. 

Feb. 1, 8 - 9:30 p.m. (will be available online for the rest of the month)
Celebrations and Revelations – free online concert in celebration of Black History Month
A concert featuring the music of Black composers will happen live Feb. 1 and will be available online for the month of February.  

Feb. 12, 19 and 26 on CBC Gem
21 Black Futures – Obsidian Theatre Company
21 Black playwrights working with 21 Black directors and 21 Black performers will premiere their work in three parts on CBC Gem on Feb. 12, 19 and 26. Find more information at obsidiantheatre.com.