CUPE Local 500 > News/Media > Local News > Black History Month

Black History Month

February 01, 2024 at 4:04 PM

Feb 1, 2024 to Feb 29, 2024


Black History Month is a time to celebrate and highlight Black History and culture, and to honour the ancestors and leaders of Black communities, their accomplishments and their continued fight for liberation.

Black History should be recognized 365 days a year, and not limited to a single month.

Black History acknowledgement is also a time for all people in Canada to reflect and educate ourselves on the history of Black enslavement, discrimination and criminalization of people of African descent, and to remember that racism still exists.

Every year CUPE honours a Black ancestor, or someone who is making history today. This year we’re honouring Nell Toussaint. Nell was a human rights defender who led a long struggle for access to health care for everyone, regardless of their immigration status. She died last year after a battle with the Canadian government to access life-saving care. Nell’s courage and determination inspire us to take up her fight for justice.

Canadian society has seen progress over the decades, but people of African descent in Canada still experience differential treatment. Black, racialized and Indigenous community members are far more likely to be the hardest hit by the pandemic and its ongoing effects. This, combined with the ongoing crisis of over-policing, has shone a spotlight on how much remains to be done.

CUPE’s Anti-Racism Strategy identifies actions to challenge systemic racism in our workplaces, union and communities. It acknowledges that our union and locals must work towards meaningful change for Black, Indigenous and racialized members, including those with intersecting identities.

Our union is committed to fighting racism and hatred in all forms. We encourage members not to be neutral when witnessing racism in any form. Instead, commit to not looking the other way and stand up for what is right.