Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time when we recognize and celebrate the enormous contributions that Black communities in Canada have made for over 400 years, and continue to make, in all sectors of society. It also is an opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing challenges and barriers that Black communities face.
The Government of Canada is celebrating 25 years since the first national declaration of Black History Month, a milestone that would not have been achieved if it were not for the efforts of the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black woman federal Cabinet minister in Canada.
This year’s theme, The Future is Now, is a call to action for us all to build on the legacy of those who came before us, and to recognize the transformative work that Black Canadians and their communities are doing now. It reminds us to continue our efforts to combat systemic racism in all of its forms to build lasting equity that is informed by Black lived experiences.
Over many decades, Black Canadians have demonstrated courage, resilience, grace, and leadership when faced with adversity, and this year is no different. While many of the celebrations will take place virtually, I have every confidence that they will be just as significant.
As Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, I invite everyone across Canada to take part in the virtual events being organized across the country, visit www.canada.ca/black-history-month for more details, and learn about the many achievements of Black Canadians.
Keep well and safe.