Stories of courage celebrate Black History Month

TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada's 2016 theme for Black History Month is A Story of Courage – providing the opportunity to gain insights from Black Canadians and the countless ways that Black history has shaped Canadian society, values, identity and institutions.

"The CRRF values Black History Month as a vital catalyst for learning from and about the legacy and continuing contributions of Black Canadians," said Albert Lo, Chairperson, CRRF. "It raises a crucial awareness that is and should be sustained throughout the year." 

The CRRF's founding Chair, the late Lincoln Alexander, exemplifies this theme of courage throughout his illustrious career of 'firsts.' In his memoir, Go to School, You're a Little Black Boy, he shared his perspective on racism. "Racism is, simply, a product of ignorance, but I am an optimist and have seen great strides taken toward eradicating that evil," he said. 

The CRRF's 150 Stories initiative recognizes the contributions of trailblazers such as the Honourable Lincoln Alexander and Viola Desmond, as well as contemporary leaders and role models, including the Honourable Jean Augustine, the Honourable Donald H. Oliver, Bob Dawson, Donald Jean and Orlando Bowen

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Government of Canada's official recognition of February as Black History Month, which came to be after Ontarian Rosemary Sadlier, President of the Ontario Black History Society, introduced the idea of having the month recognized across Canada to the Honourable Jean Augustine. In a video on the Voices Into Action website, Ms. Augustine speaks about her experiences as Canada's first Black female Member of Parliament. She will also be profiled in a new story this month, as part of 150 Stories

"There are countless stories of courage that connect to, and help define Black history. In addition to the people we highlight, there are unsung heroes, both of yesterday and today," said Anita Bromberg, Executive Director, CRRF. "The CRRF recognizes and addresses concerns central to the Black community, and they form an integral component of CRRF educational activities and training, including Voices into Action and the 150 Stories initiative."

SOURCE Canadian Race Relations Foundation

For further information: CRRF Executive Director: Anita Bromberg, abromberg@crrf-fcrr.ca, 416-508-9033

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