Staff and students throughout the Delta School District took a stand against racism last Friday.
Black Shirt Day, an initiative led by the Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) Vancouver, was planned to coincide with Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, which was on Monday.
The intention behind Black Shirt Day is simple: to promote awareness and get more conversations started about racism and civil rights. Black Shirt Day is designed to take place before February and Black History Month, which helps promote Black history in schools.
“We recognized Black Shirt Day at Ladner Elementary,” said principal Toshi Carleton-Gaines. “The entire week, teachers, myself and students shared information at morning announcements and had conversations about what racism is and how we can be anti-racist. Students have written stories and created posters to share around the school. On Friday, we held a school-wide Zoom assembly that was led and mostly organized by students. Since then, I have had many students come up to me and share creative ideas of other initiatives we could pursue.”
School district assistant superintendent Nancy Gordon said the district’s vision of education is success for all.“We have been engaging in a series of actions that involve using an anti-racist lens to reflect on resources and curriculum, professional learning, communication, and policies and procedures,” said Gordon. “As part of this, we established an Anti-Racism Committee. In addition, over the summer, a team of Delta educators launched a website: (https://deltalearns.ca/antiracism/) to help our school community learn about anti-racism. These are just a few examples of our overarching and ongoing commitment to address racism and be part of the solution.”