Black Women's History Week, Black History Month supporting Black Futures at BWSS

Black Women’s History Week is a dedicated time to elevate and celebrate Black women and our contributions.

The framework was created by Feminista Jones in 2018. Feminista Jones acknowledges previous attempts by others to celebrate Black Women’s History Week during the last week of Women’s History Month but this effort did not gain traction.

Crucially, Feminista Jones Black Women’s History Week celebration is held between Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March) which honors the intersectionality of Blackness and Womanhood that Black women embody.

With a few days left in Black History Month, building Black Futures and commemorating Black Women’s History Week we are updating on work we are involved in supporting Black women, girls, and gender diverse peoples broadly and those who experience gender-based violence

We are happy to contribute to helping advance liberation for Black women girls and gender people through community work and advocacy.

Toward that goal, we sit on the recently formed City of Vancouver Black and African Diaspora Communities:  Anti-Racism and Cultural Redress Community Advisory Group. We want to contribute to building a better city, a city where all Black and African diasporic people and specifically Black women, girls, and gender diverse people can thrive.  Over 2021 and into 2022, we have worked with the International Decade for People of African Descent advisory committee on BC anti-racism legislation and participated in the BC Convener project as a needs assessment for Black People in BC. Through that work and I am grateful that several of our team members were able to join a discussion on Black women and gender diverse people with parliamentary secretaries Rachna Singh and Grace Lore.

Of course, this is a continuation of the work BWSS has undertaken for years including through former board member Raven Bowen who is the founder of PACE Society in her blog We March On… extends to the criminalization of Black womennational research and policy initiatives, the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD)  Black women in CanadaIDPAD work with municipalities, and continues with Erica Ifill, current BWSS board member. Erica is a strong voice for advocacy and change.

As you may recall, BWSS hosts a Black Women’s Program and we were sad to see the Co-ordinator Theresa Thomas leave to pursue private practice as a therapist. We in the redesign of this initiative applying the knowledge we have gained over the past five years.

We are grateful for the wonderful Bethel Lulie who led much of this work while at BWSS as a research and policy analyst before returning to her homelands in Africa.

Please stay tuned for more information and initiatives BWSS is involved in to address anti-Black racism, misogynoir, and the intersections impacting Black and African diasporic women, girls, and gender diverse people who experience gender-based violence.