Today marks the beginning of Black History Month on PEI and across Canada.
Recognizing this month is so important – it is a month filled with opportunities to learn about and celebrate the history and contribution of Black Canadians. The government of Canada heritage website offers many resources and even virtual events available online.
I encourage you to visit this site and seek out resources to enhance your knowledge of Black history in Canada. A few are listed at the end of this email.
While Black History Month is a time for celebration, it is also a time to acknowledge the challenges Black Canadians experience.
In health care, as I have said several times before, our responsibility is to understand the factors that can affect a person’s health. Racism harms all elements of health, including overall wellbeing, mental health and physical health.
We need to ensure our health system is sensitive to the challenges members of the Black community face and that our knowledge and skills are there to address those challenges.
We can’t pretend racism isn’t here on PEI – it is, and it needs to be acknowledged and actively addressed, both within Health PEI and in our communities.
Over the next year, our plan is to develop and improve the support we offer staff, including training in anti-racism and diversity, equity and inclusion. Learning and changing behaviour need to be done intentionally and with planning and thought. I know our teams across the organization are aligned in our dedication to continuing these efforts.
Health PEI is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We will be actively eliminating unfair barriers to employment that may exist for Black Canadians and other marginalized or racialized groups. This is a priority for human resources and for our leadership team.
We can and will do more to address the effects of racism on health care. Together we will improve this system for those who have experienced the pain and oppression of racial violence.
I hope that this month provides you with a meaningful opportunity to celebrate and learn more about Black History.
- Black Cultural Society of PEI
- Black History in Canada (Library and Archives Canada, Government of Canada)
- February is Black History Month (Government of Canada)
Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to email@example.com, subject line “Notes for Michael”.