Black Excellence, Celebration, and History

The Durham Catholic District School Board recognizes and embraces Canada's diverse culture. During the month of February, St. Mary joins with other schools and organizations across the nation to celebrate the contributions and history of Canadians whose roots are in Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Black History Month gives our schools a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of members of Black community. As a faith community, Durham Catholic District School Board embraces and promotes human dignity, inclusivity, respect, diversity and justice. As a Catholic learning community, we are committed to promoting equity and inclusion in all our schools and workplaces by recognizing the diverse backgrounds of all members of our community. Please visit DCDSB Equity and Inclusive Education for more information. 

Our focus is to move beyond Black History Month, and to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions, culture, history, and achievements of Black students, staff, families, and communities every day. While the importance of Black History Month cannot be over-emphasized, we are looking forward to the day when Black excellence and Black History is seen as Canadian History and we can celebrate our collective achievements and contributions as Canadians- diversely created and uniquely gifted. Please visit DCDSB Black Excellence, Celebration, History Lives Here for resources have been created to provide students, families, and community members with additional information on the history, culture, and influences of Black Canadians.

St. Mary Unity is dedicated to creating a safer and more welcoming community for everyone regardless of race/ethnicity, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation. Unity addresses all forms of discrimination especially anti-Black racism. Follow on Instagram @unitystmary

If you are interested in joining Unity, see Ms. Bosetti (Chaplain's Office), Ms. Blake (room 162) or Ms. Majzoub (room 125)

Circle of hands

Black History Month: February 2024

Black History Month 2024 will include:

  • Multicultural night: Tuesday February 13th 
  • Taste of Black Cultures: Thursday February 22nd
  • Fashion Show: Wednesday February 28th

Black History Month: February 2023

Black History Month 2023 will include:

  • Homerooms will be invited to commemorate Black History Month in an interactive way with an electronic choice board. The choice board will allow homeroom teachers an interactive opportunity to engage the class using 6 thematic options that highlight the successes of Black people. The options are as follows:
    • O Canada performed by various Black artists
    • Prayer to observe the remembrance of Black people and events
    • Video of influential and inspiring Black people throughout history
    • Video clip of a contemporary Black trailblazer in Canada
    • A video clip highlighting an animated poetry series entitled "Dreams in Vantablack" featuring the work of 12 Black youth revealing their truths through evocative poetry with rotoscope 2D animation styles (from CBC Gem). 
    • An interactive component that challenges students to think about their biases, prejudices and stereotypes as we move towards becoming allies.
  • Ifarada Leadership Program: This year we will be partnering Ifarada Centre for Excellence again! Ifarada is a not-for-profit organization designed to support holistic care, mental wellness and community enrichment. They focus on culturally informed, anti-oppressive practice, and holistic care. Ifarada is a leader in supporting Black, Indigenous, and people People of colour in the Durham Region. Ifarada has been most instrumental in the establishment of a more equitable school environment that celebrates diversity. We had great feedback from the students. Many of the student participants expressed how grateful they were to have strong leaders from Black community represented in their school. They appreciated the brave space that Ifarada team created for them as it supported their social justice leadership endeavors within the school community. Rhiana Guerra, Ifarada's Program Development Team Leadmet with our Unity students and they will be designing a 6-week program whereby students can attend workshops on cultural appropriation vs appreciation, colourism/shadism, and microaggressions over the lunches in the chapel. Workshops will be open to the first 40 students who register. Workshops will begin after the March Break every Wednesday over the course of 6 weeks beginning Wednesday, March 22 to Wednesday, April 26.  If interested please register using MS Ifarada Leadership Program Form.
  • In person assembly Monday February 27th, featuring guest speaker Farley Flex. Farley Flex is a successful Canadian entertainer and community builder. He has managed the career of a Juno Award-winning Hip Hop artist, been a founding member of Canada's first Black-owned radio station, and served as a judge on Canadian Idol. In the community sector, Flex has co-founded several initiatives aimed at building capacity and promoting positive change, including R.E.A.L. School and Just Think 1st. He is a partner at Urban Rez Solutions, a social enterprise known for its expertise in Transformative Change Management, Conflict Management, youth and community engagement, violence prevention, and social mobilization.
  • Taste of Black Culture will be hosted by the St. Mary Unity Team over the lunches Tuesday February 28th.

Black History Month: February 2022

Black History Month 2022 will include:

  • Video Morning Prayers & Reflections Celebrating Black Excellence
  • Virtual Assembly


Black History Month: February 2021

Black History Month Feb 2021

Black History Month 2021 will include:

Black History Month: February 2020

Black History Month Feb 2020

Black History Month 2020 will include:

  • Morning Announcements and Scripture Readings
  • Black History Month decorated front hallway display case
  • "Tune Tuesdays"
  • Bake Sale (Thursday February 6)
  • Cultural T-shirt day (Tuesday February 11)
  • Taste of Black Culture (Wednesday February 12 over all three lunches)
  • BHM Assemblies (Thursday February 27)
  • Kahoot in the Cafeteria (Friday February 22 over all three lunches)
  • Black History Month T-shirt days 

Black History Month: February 2019

Black History Month 2019 will include:

  • BHC Morning Announcements about important Black Canadians
  • Black History Month decorated front hallway display case
  • Flag Day (Monday February 11)
  • Movies in the cafeteria (Wednesday February 13 over all three lunches)
  • Music in the cafeteria (Friday February 15 over all three lunches)
  • Mural in the cafeteria (Tuesday February 19 over all three lunches)
  • Taste of Black Culture (Thursday February 20 over all three lunches)
  • BHM Assemblies (Thursday February 21 period 1/2)
  • Kahoot in the Cafeteria (Friday February 22 over all three lunches)
  • Tshirt Day (Monday February 25)

Staff supervisors for the Black History Committee include: Mr. Chadee, Ms. Lucas, Ms. Duncan


Black History Month: February 2018

Black History Month Feb 2018

Black History Month 2018 will include:

  • BHC Morning Announcements about important Black Canadians
  • BHM Assemblies (Thursday February 22)
  • a special Black History Month decorated glass display case
  • Music in the Cafeteria (lunches)
  • Taste of Black Culture (Thursday February 15 over all three lunches)
  • a St. Mary CSS BHM Poster
  • and much more 

Teacher/Staff supervisors for the Black History Committee include: Mr. Chadee, Mrs. Flynn, Mr. Moriah, Mr. Stanesic, Mr. Valookaran, and Mr. Zimmer.




Black History Month: February 2017

Black History Month Feb 2017

  • BHC Morning Announcements
  • BHM Assemblies (Wednesday February 22)
  • Glass Display Case for Black History Month
  • Music/Entertainment in the Cafeteria (lunches)
  • Taste of Black Culture (Thursday February 16 over all three lunches)


Black History Poster 2016

Black History Month: February 2016

Follow St. Mary BHC 15-16 @stmaryBHC

Our theme for Black History Month is "Looking Back, Moving Forward". We will be focusing on education, inclusion, leadership and inspiration. Our Black History Committee (BHC) is made up of approximately 20 students (& five teachers and our Chaplain) who attend weekly meetings and working very hard in preparing activities for Black History Month which include:

  • Grade Level Workshops (themes include education, inclusion, leadership and inspiration)
  • Taste of Black Culture (Feb 18 over all three lunches)
  • St. Mary CSS Black History Month Poster (designed by a BHC member)
  • BHC Morning Announcements
  • Student Leadership Video
  • Music/Entertainment in the Cafeteria (lunches)
  • St. Mary CSS Black History Month T-Shirts
  • Glass Display Case for Black History Month
  • Black History Month Table in the St. Mary CSS Library
  • Fashion Show

Teacher supervisors for the Black History Committee include: Ms. Brown, Mr. Chadee, Mr. Labriola, Mrs. Rivieria-Lopez, Mr. Stanesic, Mr.Valookaran, and Mr. Zimmer.