Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present.
The commemoration of Black History Month dates back to 1926, when Harvard-educated African American historian Carter G. Woodson proposed setting aside a time devoted to honour the accomplishments of African Americans and to heighten awareness of Black history in the United States. Celebrations of Black history began in Canada also shortly thereafter. During the early 1970s, the week became known as Black History Week. It was expanded into Black History Month in 1976.
In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada and in February 2008, Senator Donald Oliver, introduced the Motion to Recognize Contributions of Black Canadians and February as Black History Month. It received unanimous approval and was adopted on March 4, 2008.
This year the theme for Black History Month is: "Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past." This was inspired by the theme of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
Unifor has also noted that Black History Month is a time to reflect on the unique challenges of some of our members and celebrate how they have and continue to resist.
Unifor activists across the country work with members in challenging hate and promoting access for our social, political and economic institutions. Part of creating access means the union is addressing the concerns of members and people connected to them. More than ever, the union must be fostering open and deep conversations about how to resist and create a more just and equitable world.
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