Black Excellence

In 2018, the OCDSB adopted and committed to the intent of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024 in recognizing that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. 

The District specifically committed to:

  • Developing and undertaking work on Ontario’s Education Equity priorities; 
  • Improve equity of access and opportunity for students of African descent to reduce barriers to learning; 
  • Intentionally adopt practices to create a safe and caring learning environment that respects, promotes, and protects the human rights of children of African descent; 
  • Collect and use identity-based data to measure progress and inform decisions on policy and programs that impact the education of students of African descent; and
  • Engage with parents and community organizations comprising people of African descent in Ottawa to support their sense of belonging in the OCDSB education community. 

There is an overwhelming urgency for action in the face of disparities and disproportionalities in access, opportunity and outcomes for students and staff of African descent. 

Released in the fall of 2020, the OCDSB Indigenous, Equity and Human Rights Roadmap identifies the key action areas the District will undertake to address inequities in our systems, structures, policies and practices that continue to impact student and staff success and well-being and to build trust with students, families, staff, and communities that we have been under-serving.

The report highlights several areas to focus on Black Excellence, including:

  • Work with Community Equity Partners Group and Advisory Committee on Equity to establish key priorities for ABC students based on Valuing Voice: Identity Matters! student survey data
  • OCDSB staff will engage in anti-racism professional learning and implement the commitments to the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024 
  • Increase representation of ABC staff in leadership positions 
  • Establish and actively support ABC staff affiliate network
  • Develop and Implement Black Studies courses across the District 
  • Provide ABC students with the opportunity to engage in cultural learning, celebrations, and networking: i.e., Black Student Forum 
  • Develop District strategy to support ABC students transitioning from Grade 8 to Grade 9 including pathways
  • Increase community partnerships to support ABC students 
  • Work with Community Equity Partners Group and the Advisory Committee on Equity to ensure the District is aligned with the Ontario Ministry of Education Equity priorities


Black Student Forum 2021
Black Excellence Discussion SeriesA four-part discussion series focusing on the topic of Black Excellence. It will explore support within the OCDSB, role models in the community, student perspectives, and the role of community partners.

Sankofa CentreThe Sankofa Centre of Excellence Graduation Coach Program is committed to advancing the academic success of African, Black and Caribbean students in the OCDSB.

Learn more about the program and workshops available for secondary students.

Black History MonthWe encourage every member of the OCDSB to take part in celebrating Black history, culture, and achievements throughout the year.

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