Published on February 9th, 2016 | from CAMH

CAMH celebrates Black History Month

Every February, Canadians honour the achievements of black men and women throughout history.

CAMH is proud to celebrate diverse histories and cultures, and we’ll be doing more throughout the month. We asked CAMH employees to share their thoughts on the importance of celebrating Black History Month in the workplace and beyond. Here’s what they had to say:

Michael Antwi, Research Coordinator:

“This month is a time to reflect on the struggles and celebrate the successes of my people that came before me.  It also serves as a reminder for the continued work needed to address the issues that necessitate a ‘Black’ History Month.”

Dion Carter, Manager, Diversity and Equity:

“As Dr. Maya Angelou said, ‘History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.’ We in the Black communities live Black history daily; it is not just a month for us. I strongly believe it is important to focus on the commonalities between my culture and other cultures, and not just our differences.”

Bernadette Fenton, Senior Human Resources Consultant:

“This month is a reminder of all that black people have accomplished throughout history to contribute to society as a whole. It fills me with great pride in knowing of these past accomplishments and gives me the confidence to create my own future accomplishments.”

Afrika Yeboah, Communications Intern, Public Affairs:
“To me, this month is a reminder of the past struggles my ancestors faced, but in moving forward, it has become a time to celebrate the things that make me proud of my culture and my name. This year, I connect to Africa: The place I’m from and the title I was given.”

Dr. Donna Ferguson, CAMH Psychologist:

“As a Black-female psychologist, this month marks an opportunity for me to celebrate and to thank those who gave me hope, broke down barriers and provided life lessons not only to myself but to my community and country.”

In reflecting on her mother’s life and career path, Donna added, “regardless of the hurdles she faced, she committed herself to education and raised her children with the belief that we can achieve anything and be anything we wanted.”

It is stories like Donna’s that invite us to reflect on our history and connect to one another this month and always. “While we may come from different countries, backgrounds, families and cultures, we bring a rich history that we can share with one another,” Donna said.

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