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York public board launches Centre for Black Student Excellence

York Region District School Board online hub provides resources and specialized programs to students and parents
May 12, 2022
Michele Weisz

The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) has launched a Centre for Black Student Excellence to promote the dismantling of anti-Black racism and amplify historically marginalized voices.

The website hub celebrates Black excellence through videos and podcasts and provides programs designed to affirm identity and support student achievement and well-being and offers information about Black community agencies that provide support.

The centre launch follows the March 2021 launch of the board's Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy, co-developed by York Region Black community leaders, YRDSB staff and in consultation with students.

“The creation of the Centre for Black Student Excellence reflects our focus on making real and transformative change in our system,” said Cecil Roach, associate director of education, in a news release. “The ultimate goal is to work to eliminate barriers that YRDSB data shows have resulted in stark disparities and disproportionalities for Black students' achievement and well-being.”

The online centre also includes culturally relevant mental health support resources and anti-Black racism resources for parents.

“We are excited to introduce this space that celebrates Black voices and Black excellence and provides a hub of information for students, families and community in support of our ongoing work to dismantle anti-Black racism,” said Darcie Sutherland, the Markham principal tasked with overseeing the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism program.

“This central hub of information is part of our ongoing work to implement the actions outlined in the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy,” said education director Louise Sirisko. “It’s been just over one year since we launched the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy, and while there is still much more work to be done, we can take pride in the steps we have taken as a system to move this work forward.”

Visit the Centre for Black Student Excellence website to learn more.