BCIT recognizes and celebrates Black History Month

As we commemorate Black History Month in Canada, we look towards community leaders who have faced the struggles and led diasporic communities forward. These Canadian leaders include: The Honourable Jean Augustine, The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Viola Desmond, Carrie Best, Lucie and Thornton Blackburn, Rosemary Brown, and George Elliott Clarke.

Black History Month is about honouring the enormous contributions that Black people have made, and continue to make, in all sectors of society. It is about celebrating resilience, innovation, and determination to work towards a more inclusive and diverse Canada—a Canada in which everyone has every opportunity to flourish.

The theme this year in Canada is February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day. It was announced on Friday, January 21, 2022 — which is also Lincoln Alexander Day in Canada. The day celebrates the leader who fought for racial equity as Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament, Cabinet minister, and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. BCIT recognizes the need to support our Black colleagues and students and identify racism in our communities throughout the year –not just during the month of February.

Black history in Canada has not always been celebrated or highlighted. There is little mention that some of the Loyalists who came here after the American Revolution and settled in the Maritimes were people of African descent, or of the many sacrifices made in wartime by soldiers of African descent as far back as the War of 1812.

Canadians are not always aware of the fact that Black people were once enslaved in the territory that is now Canada or how those who fought enslavement helped to lay the foundation of the diverse and inclusive society in Canada.

We have a responsibility to educate ourselves about Canada’s role in past and present injustices against Black communities, including those in our own backyard. Fifty years ago, the construction of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts here in Vancouver displaced the diverse immigrant enclave of Hogan’s Alley. Hogan’s Alley was the unofficial name for Park Lane in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighborhood and home to much of Vancouver’s Black population.

Work still needs to be done to create an inclusive environment for all

BCIT acknowledges that racism exists within our community, just as it does within the broader community, both on an individual level as well as systemically. BCIT recognizes that without removing barriers to inclusion, racialized staff, faculty, and students will not feel valued on an equal level, and we will miss out on the experience, knowledge, and talent that racially diverse people contribute to an organization.

We are committed to actively working and committing resources towards the ultimate goal of eliminating all forms of racism within our community. To further this goal, BCIT President Kathy Kinloch, the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Office and the Anti-Racism Working Group contributed to developing the BCIT Anti-Racism Framework.

Within the Framework, four specific priority areas have been identified; Education and Raising Awareness; Data Collection, Analysis, and Utilization; Human Resources and Policy; and Inclusive Learning Environments. These priorities aim to address racism against Indigenous people, Black and African Diaspora communities, and all other racialized groups including intolerance based on the intersecting identities of ethnicity, country of origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and neurodiversity.

Resources and educational opportunities

As supported by our BCIT Values, we have the responsibility to ensure that all staff, faculty, and students feel that they are part of a community that embraces all cultures and ethnicities. In the Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Office we continue to develop opportunities to learn and to support all people at BCIT.

Events and Workshops

For everyone in BCIT community-

For BCIT staff and faculty –

For public-


Remember, silence empowers the oppressor. Learn what you can do when you witness racism or other forms of bigotry.


  • Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
  • Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Subtle Act of Exclusion: How to understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • They said this would be fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up by Eternity Martis

(Article written by: BCIT Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion Office)


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