Black History Month in Canada is from February 1 – 28, 2019. From philosophers to our Prime Minister, our citizens honor this effort.
Prime Minister Trudeau on this month’s significance
Viola Desmond honored
You may be familiar with names like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Canadians have their own iconic figures in the ongoing (so slow in maturing) growth of equal civil rights. Viola Desmond is one such woman. HalifaxToday.ca notes, “In 1946 Ms. Desmond was arrested and later tried after refusing to sit in a segregated area of a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia movie theatre. It became a catalyst for equal rights in Canada.” This month she will be honored with a coin bearing her image — a solid reminder of the courage she exemplifies.
Our role in ensuring equality
We each play a part in moving our country toward equality, belonging, and respect for all. I am a screamingly white (and straight) girl with the happy luck of being born into a life where I can murmur, “First world problems, am I right??” I do so with honest self-deprecation and more than a dash of awareness of my own privileged life. For my part, the line is clear: Just don’t be a jerk, Sandra. Do be kind. Be real. Care deeply and authentically.
I should ask questions about things I don’t understand. And ask those questions sensibly. I must offer dignity to all in the manner I wish to receive it. To all, and in the manner I wish to receive it. I must not assume. Anything. Because the truth is, I just don’t know. I don’t get it. I can’t possibly get what it is to be born a person of color, an indigenous person, or an individual struggling with sexual identity. So, the privilege extends: it is on me to grow my understanding. To support governments and policies and consumer choices that ensure equality and inclusion? That’s my Canadian-born right and responsibility. And to love as I would be loved? Well, that’s just common sense.
Your caring cause
If this is one of those issues that lands close to home for you, visit our charities page to explore the supporting charities that are benefited by our program.