Today, the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement proudly launched its physical space at Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute in Scarborough.
The Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement unveiled the renovated wing within the school designated specifically to operationalize the nine mandates that support the work of the Centre of Excellence. This includes several newly designed rooms, such as a community room and lounge, two classrooms, a main office, and two professional learning rooms.
Order of Canada recipient and creator of the LEGACY poster series, Robert Small alongside award-winning Afrofuturist muralist and cultural curator, Danilo Deluxo showcased new artwork that will be on display at the new site. Performances by Coco Collective, a multidisciplinary intergenerational group of artists specializing in African and Caribbean arts and a Steelpan ensemble by students from Africentric Alternative School were also featured.
The Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement is the first of its kind in K-12 public education in Canada. It is one of TDSB’s responses to dismantle anti-Black racism within the school board and improve both experiences and outcomes for Black students. The creation of the Centre of Excellence is also responsive to the voices of Black communities who consistently advocate for deeper systemic change from the TDSB.
The concept of a Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement was first proposed in TDSB over four years ago by the Enhancing Equity Task Force. This work involved extensive community consultation which surfaced systemic barriers that are experienced by many TDSB students and disproportionately impeded the academic success of Black students. The Task Force’s recommendations led to several action plans in the Board’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan focused on specific ways to support Black students.
To learn more, please visit: www.tdsb.on.ca/cebsa.
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- The Centre for Excellence in Black Student Achievement is supported by 21.5 staff positions
- The Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement launched virtually on June 1, 2021.
“As the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement unveils its space at Winston Churchill CI to the community, it is also a source of inspiration for Black TDSB students. Here, they will not only be supported and encouraged to achieve excellence and academic success, but also experience joy as they learn and grow into the next generation of leaders and innovators in this city. It is our hope as a Board and as a community that the Centre will continue to be the beacon our students look to, to believe in themselves and to achieve greatness in the decades to come.”
- Alexander Brown, Chair, TDSB
“The unveiling of the new physical space for the Centre of Excellence for Black Student Achievement at Winston Churchill CI is a significant milestone in the commitment to a more equitable and culturally-responsive education of Black students, communities and staff. This centre plays a vital leadership role in creating new opportunities for students, offering professional learning and affinity spaces. It is an important vehicle for ensuring Black students’ wellbeing, joy, brilliance and academic success is present in everything we do.”
- Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Director of Education, TDSB