Black history month 2023

No country—including Canada—has reached gender and racial equity as an examination of the lives of Black women, girls and femmes reveals.

One of the least remarked upon themes in anti-violence work deals with Black women’s and gender diverse people’s experiences as victims of rape and domestic violence. Black, African, and Caribbean diasporic women and gender diverse people experiencing gender-based violence must navigate historical, societal, cultural, and familial prompts that sanction and silence them from disclosing their experiences of violence.

All Black survivors live at the intersection of being targeted for oppression solely based on their gender and Blackness. The lasting impacts of colonization and enslavement are present in the social, political, cultural, and economic ways of life for people of African descent in Canada, where anti-Black racial oppression is still particularly embedded in Canadian settler society.

As an intersectional feminist anti-violence organization our work includes supporting survivors who are Black, African and diaspora while working to redress the impact of oppression.

This Black History Month, we stand in the truths about the past while working to shape a better future.


Resources and events for you to commemorate and celebrate Black History Month 2023


Resources here on the BWSS site, including:


Massy Books celebrates Black excellence in history, literature, and the arts.

Come check out our shelves and window display to explore, learn and enjoy some of the brilliant works written by Black authors, scholars, educators and artists:


Rights Back At You: A Podcast Listening Party

This new podcast is an unflinching look at anti-Black racism, policing, and surveillance in Canada and beyond:


Highlighting the Black presence in innovation in BC and beyond.

Grounded in the pillars of Inspiration, Community, Culture, and Innovation – this two-day summit includes a curated public event showcasing Black Innovation and creation and a youth-centred Hack-A-Thon we’ve renamed Blackathon:


Internationally acclaimed artiste, Mamadou Diabate with Percussion Mania alongside NAXX BITOTA:


Songs of Freedom, the eleventh annual concert in honour of Black History Month:


Black History Month at VIFF Centre:


The Black Arts Centre + PuSH

In their first collaboration with PuSh, the Black Arts Centre will host a night of dance, collaboration, and community! Identity as performance, the Black Arts Centre welcomes all to come as their very truest selves to center joy in Black History Month:


Chan Centre Connects

Neptune Frost:


Black Futures

Saul Williams / Moor Mother / Irreversible Entanglements:


As We Rise

Photography from the Black Atlantic:


Gregory Maqoma | Thuthuka Sibisi


African Descent History in BC

In the spirit of Black History Month, Surrey Archives will host guest speaker Yasin Kiraga Misago, President of the African Descent Society of BC. During the free, virtual, one-hour session, he will highlight BC.’s early history of African descent, dating back to 1858. Misago will then bring the conversation local to discuss Surrey’s African diaspora story:



On Black History and Storytelling. A hybrid (in person and online) conversation with award-winning novelist ESI EDUGYAN. Organized by BC Black History Awareness Society:


Building Black British Columbia with Social Media


Screening of the Woman King


Black Joy and Achievement in Cinema


Chelene Knight on her book Junie


Screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever





We are hiring for a Program Co-ordinator for the Black Survivors Program at BWSS

The Program Coordinator provides support, advocacy, referrals, and assistance to Black, Caribbean, and African diasporic survivors of intimate partner, domestic and sexualized violence.

This position is responsible for crisis intervention, safety planning, outreach, education, and planning and facilitating weekly support group sessions for youth and adult survivors. Coordinate a range of culturally specific programming that meets the unique needs of Black and African survivors including adult and youth.

The Program Coordinator works collaboratively with other anti-violence and Black and African serving organizations and agencies to advance effective responses to survivors’ needs.

Black Feminist Leadership in Canada

In celebration of Black History Month, join us for an online roundtable discussion with Black feminist leaders working to advance the priorities of Black survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), including non-status, refugee and im/migrant women, girls, and gender-diverse people hosted by Ontario Council of Agencies Servicing Immigrants (OCASI).

When: February 23rd 2023, 1:00-2:30pm EST (online)

Register here:


  • Angela Marie MacDougall – BWSS – Battered Women’s Support Services
  • Nneka MacGregor -WomenattheCenter
  • Paulette Senior – Canadian Women’s Foundation
  • Moderated by: Debbie Douglas – OCASI

Key themes include: the legacy and leadership of Black Feminists in community-based responses to GBV; the importance of collecting data on the experiences of Black survivors; the impacts of policing and an over reliance of the legal system in addressing GBV; intersectional approaches to service provision and advocacy; and the importance of funding for a robust GBV sector.

French and ASL interpretation will be available.

This event is organized by OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants