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Richmond schools mark Black Shirt Day

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:07 PST, Fri January 15, 2021

Today is Black Shirt Day, a day to stand together against racism.

Black Shirt Day is a grassroots initiative to show solidarity with Black and racialized communities in BC in their ongoing struggle for equity, equality and justice. Jan. 15 is also the birthdate of Martin Luther King Jr., who inspired people to join together and work to end racism. 

“At Palmer secondary, we have a rich culture of celebrating diversity and inclusion,” says principal Navshina Savory. “Recognizing and denouncing racism is entrenched in our culture. As a school, our students and staff are deeply committed to the values of equality and the strength of diversity in our communities. 

“Our school’s involvement in Black Shirt Day today was once again an opportunity to strengthen these values by wearing black and making our solidarity and learning around the history of racism and the civil rights movement for all racialized individuals, visible through our active engagement in BC’s Black Shirt Day.”

“The timing of Black Shirt Day, a few weeks before Black History Month, helps to build interest in learning about the contributions of Black Canadians and also about antiracism overall,” says Richmond school board chair Sandra Nixon. “The district has also developed a resources page on Black History month, which will be available to schools and educators.”

The province is also launching an anti-racism awareness campaign as part of a $1.9 million investment to make BC safer and more inclusive for everyone. Part of this funding will support other initiatives to address individual and systemic racism.

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