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Youth Standing Up Against Racism

April 6, 2021

As a division, we recognize the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21. This year's theme is 'Youth standing up against racism.' Learn more about the day.

In the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD), better education is about a better world for everyone. We acknowledge the essential role education plays in creating long-term transformation and systemic change. Policies, programs, curricula, instructional approaches, assessment practices, relationships between staff, students and parents/guardians, shared values and understanding are important elements that nurture a culture in LRSD on its journey toward building an anti-racist world.

The goals of equity and inclusion outlined in our Multi-Year Strategic Plan (MYSP) continue to guide us as we work toward reducing inequalities and discrimination within our community and strive for long-term transformation. Belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity are at the heart of our MYSP and are the values we embody in LRSD today.

In honour of the International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, below are a few student and divisional initiatives that are helping the LRSD community move toward lasting change.

March 21 also marks the start of Winnipeg's first ever Anti-Racism Week. We will continue to add stories to this spotlight throughout the week.

Learning from Home School 

Staff and students at LRSD's Learning from Home School (LFHS) | L'École Apprendre-chez-soi (EACS), recognized the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21 and commemorated Anti-Racism Week.

Although these two events provided opportunities for deeper conversations and related programming, the community at the LFHS/EACS have been working together all year to recognize and help eliminate racism and nurturing a culture of equality and inclusion. A few examples include:
  • Selecting rich texts which support conversations and provide time to reflect on the importance of promoting belonging and learning about topics such as residential schools, gender equality, and racism.
  • Using videos to spark debate and answer questions related to social justice.
  • Creating opportunities to write and reflect about stereotypes and inequality. 
  • Bringing in guest speakers to talk about the importance of movements such as Black Lives Matter and how social media can be used to raise awareness and promote equality.

Read more about how the LFHS/EACS is working toward equity. 

St. George School

During Anti-Racism Week, students at St. George School paused to reflect on the diversity that exists in its community.  Each classroom was provided a copy of All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold for their classroom libraries. The entire school community read the book together. The beautifully illustrated book is about a school that celebrates diversity with a message that everybody is welcome, no matter their differences. The book provided an opportunity for students to engage in conversation about their school and community and how St. George compared to the story. It was a time to recognize and celebrate differences and similarities.  It was also an opportunity to be curious, ask questions and encourage action.  Below are some of the student responses to the book:

How does this book remind you of St. George School?

  • "Everyone is allowed to learn."
  • "Teachers are unconditional, caring and nurturing no matter what."
  • " We are all different and work together."
  • "We all share a community."

What did you notice in the pictures and visual representation in the book? Did it remind you of St. George School?

  • "Everyone was together!"
  • "Everyone was friendly."

What can we do differently as a school community to make St. George School more welcoming to all students?

  • "Celebrate our differences."
  • "More whole school (community invited as well) events/activities to build friendships."
  • "More guests brought in to teach about different cultures and life-styles."
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École Howden

In support of Anti-Racism Week, staff and students at École Howden took the time to understand what is racism and to celebrate the diversity in the school's classrooms.

In primary grades, students had the opportunity to learn about how everyone is unique in their own way. As a Grade 1 student said : "On est tous différents et c'est ok!" (We are all different and it's ok!). Some classes made a self-reflection picture inspired by a poem read in class. Another class made a picture of their hands wrapped around the world. They took a gallery walk in their cohort hallway to view the various posters that the Grade 5 anti-racism committee made and discussed what they can do to make this world a gentle loving place for everyone. This committee also prepared a PowerPoint presentation that will be shown to all classes.

Many discussions were had about racism in all Grades 4 to 6. For example, in one class, students learned that there are many important people in Canada's history, specifically Black history. Students are completing a research on a notable Black Canadian which they will then present their findings to the class. Another class took a look at stereotypes and discussed how to overcome them. After Spring Break, Grade 6s will continue their discussions when they will be learning about prejudice and racism of world war two and comparing/discussing current events.

In all grades, students had many conversations about the books they have read (''The Skin You Live In'', ''I am Enough'' et ''Bienvenue : Un livre sur l'inclusion'' to name a few). After viewing various YouTube videos about racism and diversity, students and staff discussed how racism has personally affected them in their lives. Developing empathy and understanding about what is racism will help bring students towards a common goal of eliminating discrimination.

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Collège Jeanne-Sauvé

One of the four pillars forming Collège Jeanne-Sauvé's (CJS) school plan is Citizenship and Community. Equity, self-awareness and belonging inform the teaching and learning that is embedded in the inclusive fabric of the school. Activities such as the “Know Their Names” activity during Black History Month, daily practices, including the sharing of the school's Land Acknowledgement, as well as building a diverse collection of resources to support classroom learning and discussions that represent the many learners in the school, help the collective growth and understanding of students and staff in the CJS community. 

On March 19, six CJS students had the opportunity to participate in the State of the City High School program with a focus on anti-racism. These grades 9-11 students engaged in facilitated sessions to understand what a world without racism looks like, how we can get there, and how anti-racism can exist in their everyday lives. In the afternoon, groups then shared their ideas with Mayor Bowman including not being a bystander, early programming for youth, and the process of reporting racism and hate crimes.


Hastings School

Beyond several classes at Hastings Schoolworking diligently to understand the history of Blacks in Canada and around the world during  Black History Month in February, there has been a continuation of the discussion in March, focusing on anti-racism concepts to honour the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

Read-alouds that included books like "Skin Like Mine", "Not Quite Snow White" and "Eyes That Kiss in the Corners" were great conversation starters with grades 2/3 students. Grades 7/8 students made the link between the mistreatment of Black Canadians over Canada's history to how Indigenous people were treated during World War II and as veterans afterwards.

Grades 2/3 also did an "identity" inquiry project in Social Studies where they investigated ways that people are different and aspects of their lives that contribute to their identity. Part of that was making self-portraits and realizing people are all varying shades of brown. That means that whether the students in the class were lighter or darker; they all made their skin colour using the same two colours -  orange and blue, and then added more of either, along with white, to make their self-portraits.

Whether studying influential Black Canadians in Grades 4 to 8 or talking about treating everyone with respect in Grades K to 4, Hastings School students are immersed daily in lessons and activities that help them to be the best people they can be. 

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École Guyot

Students at École Guyot explored many different activities to bring anti-racism to the forefront this week. 

In Grade 7, students learned about privilege by doing an exercise whereby a group of students were given an unjust advantage during a game. They made the connection to the injustices that exist in the world when it comes race. Students also read an article that had them reflecting on and reacting to the article.

Listening to a YouTube video in French, Grade 8 students explored different testimonies of youth and elders of BIPOC communities as an aftermath of the turbulent year of 2020. As a class, they reflected on lived experiences and the importance of recognizing systematic racism. 

In grade 3/4, students learned the meaning of "racism" and studied a book named, "The Skin you Live In", by Michael Tyler. They followed up this learning by creating pictures that represented "Winnipeg without Racism".

Students in Grade 3 listened to and read books that had them thinking about racism and time was given for them to reflect and share their thoughts in their journal.

After having read the book, "Hana's Suitcase", students in Grade 5 created their own poem about Hana and completed a writing/drawing activity that had them reflecting on the injustices that were endured during the Holocaust.

These conversations will not end this week and will continue to be embedded as part of the daily learning.

Shamrock School

Classrooms in Shamrock School have been busy exploring the theme of racism. The Grade 5/6 students, for example, read the book "Bud, Not Buddy," a story that takes place during the Great Depression involving a ten-year-old African American boy on a quest to find his father. Classes discussed the racism faced by the protagonist in the book and examined how, though much has changed since the Depression Era, much more work needs to be done in ensuring equity and acceptance of BIPOC people today.

J.H. Bruns Collegiate

A Grade 10 ELA class at J.H. Bruns Collegiate are studying the history of Anti-Racism Week, which commenced on March 21, the anniversary of the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa. Meaningful discussions encouraged students to look through the lens of their diverse experiences and viewpoints on their community, country, and world and to think critically, observe closely, explore multiple perspectives, ask questions, and dig beneath the surface. 

"We are being taught that our voices matter, and change can be made by us (youth)," one student noticed. 

From considering the past, the class will follow up in April with a study of the dystopian novel The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline; this story invites readers to explore the ways that the past like the Residential School System intertwines with the present, and to ask themselves to think about the future that we are creating. 

In the words of one student, "By educating ourselves on the topic, we are taking steps toward preventing it from continuing."

Students in Mr. Bell's class showed their support for Anti-Racism Week, and more importantly, those around the world facing human rights abuse, racial inequality, and gender inequality by creating a personalized photo here

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Marion School 

Marion School has a diverse group of students that make up an amazing learning community. This work has been and will continue to be part of the fabric of who the school community is and what they belive in as reflected as a priority at Marion School and included in the Multi Year Strategic Plan.

Marion School's hashtag #WeAreAForest comes from the quote,

"People are like trees, and groups of people are like the forests.
While the forests are composed of many different kinds of trees,
these trees intertwine their roots so strongly that it is impossible for
the strongest winds which blow on our islands to uproot the forest,
for each tree strengthens its neighbour, and their roots are inextricably intertwined. Just as one tree standing alone would soon be destroyed by the first strong wind which came along, so it is impossible for any person, any family, or any community to stand alone against the troubles of this world."

- Chief Skidegate - Lewis Collinson, March, 1996

The Marion staff continued the very important work around anti-racism and equity on the March 19 professional development day. Staff were grateful to Eric Sagenes and Sarah Gazan from MTS for helping them wade into the waters to "Change How We Swim". They are continuing this important work with a staff wide book study using the book "White Fragility" by Robin Diangelo.

The school's youngest learners, the members of the kindergarten class, shared reading and conversations using the book "The Colors of Us" by Karen Katz to jump start important discussions about race. The learners identified themselves as individuals as well as an important part of a caring community through Art. 

"The book is about our skin colour, and we can be friends with people with different colour skin. A friend is someone you love, and it doesn't matter about the skin colour. You can love anyone," explained Ledanne.

The students in the grade 6/7 class spent time engaging in conversation using current events from around the globe about various "isms" like racism and sexism, that get in the way of inclusive ways of being together.

These are two examples of ongoing work that is done at Marion School throughout every day of the school year.

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Victor Mager School

At Victor Mager, anti-racist teaching and learning is embedded in the inclusive fabric of the school. At Victor Mager and in the broader learning community, children and families from around the province, country and globe come together to form a beautiful mosaic of cultural and linguistic diversity. In short, celebrating diversity by ensuring that every child and their family is provided an equitable and inclusive school experience is what Victor Mager School is all about.

Recently, early years teachers and students at Victor Mager have been spending time exploring, learning and celebrating the beauty of diverse complexions of skin. Through the study of books like, “Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o, students are learning to see the beauty of all people. Students are engaged in conversations with their teachers and educational assistants about not only seeing the beauty of diverse skin complexions, but more importantly, working on seeing the beauty of themself and others on the inside.

Niakwa Place School

The Grade 7/8's in Room 14 at Niakwa Place, celebrate equity, inclusion and diversity everyday with the Circle of Courage at the foundation of our social contract. Anti-racism was the main theme of the classroom's novel study on the book Three Keys by Kelly Yang. It is the story of 12-year-old Mia Tang who immigrated with her parents to the United States from China. Class discussions revolved around racism, discrimination and immigration. The class also used This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How To Wake up, Take Action and Do The Work by Tiffany Jewell and illustrated by Aurelia Durand to further explore important concepts like social identity, privilege, dominant culture and micro aggression.

Classroom teacher Mrs. Hoffman (who is also a Teacher-Librarian) worked closely with Library Assistant Joan Baker, to curate an extended collection of resources to support classroom and family discussions about race and social justice. Mrs. Baker posted the list on the hallway monitor and in Destiny Discover for easy access by students and teachers.

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Archwood School

As part of Archwood School's Anti-Racism Week activities, the Grade 3/4's read the book "All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfold. This story follows a group of children throughout their school day as they welcome everyone with open arms and celebrate each other's similarities and differences. "All Are Welcome" reminds everyone know they have a place and values and appreciated. 

The Grade 3/4 students then followed up by reading "The Remember Balloons" where students thought back to their first days at Archwood School and how they felt coming to a new school.  Students enjoyed this trip down memory lane as they remembered what it felt like to be new and how important it is to make sure everyone is a welcome part of the Archwood family.

École St. Germain

Some of the École St. Germain Grade 1 classes have been learning about race for the last few months by reading stories and books written by BIPOC authors. This month, they are focusing specifically on female BIPOC authors. Each story is preceded by a discussion about the topic covered in the book and allows students to be more aware of the experiences shared by the authors and the associated feelings. The authors include Jacqueline Woodson, Roda Ahmed, and Meena Harris. 

One of the school's Grade 3 classes used the story "I am Perfectly Designed" and the anti-racism song for kids, "We Are One" as a basis for discussion about being part of a diverse community. 

In Grade 4, some classes have read  "A Kid's Book About Racism" and "All Are Welcome" to bring some context to the issue of race in order to have more in-depth classroom discussions. Another class read the book "Un petit geste," which talks about the ripple effects of our actions and gestures towards others, but also understanding that we sometimes do not have a second chance to show someone how we feel about them. In the discussion, the class also used the rocks from their Thrival Kits as symbols of the rock that creates the ripple effect mentioned in the book. 

Some of the school's Grade 5 classes have used articles in the magazine "Every Child Matters: Reconciliation Through Education" to stimulate discussions about reconciliation and residential schools. Other classes are using other resources to start discussions about racism and social justice.

Island Lakes Community School

One of the ways that the entire Island Lakes school community has come together this year is through its daily announcements. Classes tune into ILCS Morning Live on Teams to hear daily announcements, information and reminders presented by student annoucers.  

Each morning, ILCS Morning Live starts off with a Land Acknowledgement. The annoucements are also a way to celebrate and recognize diversity in the community. One way that this is done is by including several versions of O Canada. Each week, staff and students hear the Ojibwe, English and French versions. Over the last several weeks, the announcements have been highlighting different languages and inviting classes to learn how to say "awesome" in different languages familiar in the community.

École Marie-Anne-Gaboury

At École Marie-Anne-Gaboury, staff and students are interested in learning about and from the different people that make up their school community. During Black History Month, students read Canadian biographies. Grade 3/4 students contacted three people whose stories were shared and were encouraged to hear back from them. This was a rewarding experience for both the role models they contacted, and an authentic learning opportunity for the students.

A parallel activity in the school was an anti-bullying campaign led by the Grade 6 students. They promoted the message of going beyond non-acceptance of unkindness to the importance of speaking out and serving as allies for those who are targeted by harmful or even discriminatory acts. This has led into classroom activities around anti-racism at all grade levels. In Grade 1, these activities include talks in Social Studies about how everyone is unique. In another Grade 3/4 class, the book "The Proudest Blue" informed discussions around recent attacks of Asian communities in North America. Grade 5 students created sketch-notes on the topics of microaggressions and systemic racism. In Grade 7/8, students studied "A Long Walk to Water" while discussing the Lost Boys of Sudan. 

Victor H.L. Wyatt

Each morning at Victor H.L. Wyatt, staff and students start off their day in a good way with the sharing of our Land Acknowledgment during announcements. Many classrooms are engaged in Ojibwe language learning and cultural teachings with Mrs. Allen and students look forward to weekly lessons. Mrs. Allen has also shared her gift of beading with small groups of students who have been excited to experience this craft.

Mr. Cable, Phys. Ed. teacher, has challenged the entire school community to increase our daily steps, which accumulate weekly toward Wyatt Walks where students trek across a designated country. Each week, students learn interesting facts about that part of the world through the voices and stories of staff, students and families. So far, the school community has "walked" across Canada, Pakistan, and they are currently working their way through Nigeria!  

Students in Mrs. Leach's, grade 7/8 class have been learning about human rights issues and the importance of building awareness and understanding of these matters. Students have been actively engaged in the research process and have shared their learning with others. They have learned how advocacy can lead to change and how their voices matter in making a positive difference in the world.

The Victor Wyatt library team has been dedicated to building a collection of quality children's literature to support important messages and narratives of anti-racism. These books serve as excellent resources for students and staff to read, learn and enjoy.

Darwin School

At Darwin School, anti-racism education is becoming embedded into classrooms through the literature explored and the important class discussions with students. Mr. Fallis' Grade 5/6 students have been exploring the lives of Nelson Mandela (Politician), Georgia Gilmore (Everyday Citizen) and Maryam Tsegaye (Canadian student) as examples of people in the world that have made a difference. From leading South Africa out of Apartheid, supporting the Civil Rights Movement by making pies to a current Canadian student in Alberta attributing her interest in science to the film Hidden Figures, students have learned about the important aspect of "If I can see it, I can be it" with respect to anti-racist education.

In Ms. Harrison's Grade 7 classroom, students read literature from Kwame Alexander, in which they explore language being used to tell a story in a non-traditional way. They have met virtually with Indigenous author, David Robertson, through their study of The Barren Grounds while exploring personal history, identity and connection to the environment. They have been reading the poetry of Tupac Shakur and exploring the connections between poverty, race, and gang violence through Jason Reynold's Long Way Down.

In Grade 8, Mr. Chapman has combined his love of rugby with an exploration of Apartheid in South Africa. Through viewing Invictus, reading about Apartheid and hosting guided class discussions, students have learned about the similarities of Apartheid in South Africa with Canada's reserve system that still exists today. 

The important work of anti-racist education will continue to flourish in classrooms throughout Darwin School by combining a love for literacy; teaching staff making explicit choices to include a diverse range of authors and media; and continuing to explore current events with students. 

École Julie-Riel

École Julie-Riel kicked off Anti-Racism Week with Mme Carrière and Mme Godbout reading the picture book The Skin I Live In to the entire school. Throughout the week, staff and students read numerous books, did research and art projects and participated in meaningful class discussions around "what the world would look life if we didn't have racism."  

Students and staff had the opportunity to share personal and family experiences around racism and discrimination. This was one step toward further developing empathy through the understanding of another's emotions and stories.

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Lavallee School 

At Lavallee, the work surrounding equity, inclusion and standing up against racism is woven into the work that takes place in classrooms every day.  Issues related to racism have been an integral part of cross-curricular studies in Grade 7/8 since the fall. Students started with a read aloud of the book The Hate U Give. This is the story of a young black woman that witnesses the shooting of her friend by police. Class discussions about the Black Lives Matter protests led to the exploration of the historical reasons for racism in the United States. This evolved into a class inquiry project in which the students generated questions and conducted research on the topic of slavery. The students then conducted their own inquiry projects on various topics related to the Civil Rights Movement including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and The Black Panther Party. These young learners are continually learning to advocate and promote the rights of citizens in local and global communities.

H.S. Paul School 

H.S.Paul School celebrates diversity and uses the Circle of Courage as its guiding template in our classrooms and school culture. Teachers work with Ms. Audrey Otto, Library Assistant, to select books, videos and materials with anti-racism themes. Ms. Otto sends out a monthly newsletter to parents on themes the school community is working on each month. Students and their families can read books about racism and how youth can stand up against racism.

This year, as part of Anti-Racism Week, students in Mr. Johnston's grade 7/8 class created their own Black Take Action Figures by studying people in history who took action against social injustices. These figures were created by the students to demonstrate the important aspects of each person's character, attributes and identity.  

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Highbury School

The students and staff at Highbury School are embracing Anti-Racism Week with vibrant learning opportunities, classroom discussions, research projects, and sharing of perspectives. Grade 5 and 6 students have found creative ways of engaging in anti-racism topics through Manito Ahbee Aki. This resource, which was partially developed by Highbury teacher Mark Lesiuk, is the first Minecraft teaching resource in the world that honours, celebrates and explores a Manitoba Anishinaabe community. Grade 1 to 4 students have continued to integrate the four key elements of the Circle of Courage into their learning: belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. 

"It's exciting to see our students grow in their confidence and understanding of these concepts, and apply their learning to the real world issues such as anti-racism," said Reno Gerl, Vice-Principal at Highbury School. 

Nelson McIntyre Collegiate

Nelson McIntyre Collegiate has Active Citizenship as one of its core goals. Project work in all four grades connects to this goal so that students understand their role in promoting social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Grade 12s focus on a deep individually driven inquiry and Take Action Projects as a focus for their interdisciplinary study. 

Students in Grade 12 Global Issues/ELA Interdisciplinary Classes created TAKE ACTION projects on a variety of Social Justice themes including standing up for Indigenous Rights. Each student creates their own action plans to address their studies and the projects are as diverse as the students. For example, one student investigated how they could make Indigenous communities more recognizable as equal to non-Indigenous communities in Manitoba. Another explored the systematic racism found within Children in Care system, and other created a plan to help educate the generations of Manitoban's who have graduated without information about residential schools and their impacts.

Students in Grade 12 ELA/Topics in Science Interdisciplinary have been exploring ideas around "scientific racism". As a class, they have been diving deep into the theme of race science and unraveling the history behind how the use of science was used to justify the categorization of the human species. As part of the students' assessment, the students are each individually researching and diving deep into issues of racial injustice that they feel are important to themselves through leading a podcast. The students will also have the opportunity to virtually conference with her and discuss the matters of systemic and scientific racism. 

In these classes students also join book clubs about these issues. Below are a sampling of some of their readings. 

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École Van Belleghem

At École Van Belleghem, staff have been working together in classrooms to combat racism and provide students with educational opportunities to grow in a safe and inclusive community. Students in grade 6 participated in the Virtual Conference entitled "Stronger Than Hate." This presentation explored how stories create the possibility to learn about ourselves and others, and how change can be affected right now. The conversation encouraged students to reflect upon what they have learned from history and as witnesses to racism, and how that knowledge can help everyone take action to counteract hate. Students have also reflected on, discussed, and examined racism against women of colour in the context of NASA and its history, as well as throughout the past century. This was done during their science unit and an analysis of the film "Hidden Figures."

The Grade 7 and 8 students have specifically looked at Winnipeg and how racism has been part of the city's history, as well as our present reality. Students, through their English Language Arts course, examined local websites from LRSD, the City of Winnipeg, as well as the video relating to the Anti-Racism Week launch. From there, students journaled and discussed "What Would Winnipeg Look Like Without Racism?"

These discussions and reflections have lead to some amazing sharing and hope for our future leaders. Students were also able to provide specific examples of racism from their own lives and how that has shaped and affected them. The discussions have highlighted the importance of addressing racism directly in schools and ensuring that schools are safe, inclusive, and free of prejudice or racism.

General Vanier School

General Vanier School embeds inclusive and anti-racist practices into daily routines throughout the year. A few of the school's initiatives include imbedded practices like daily announcements to acknowledge the many holidays, cultures and traditions of its students and community, observing Pink Shirt Day and Orange Shirt Day, fostering cultural celebrations such as the Matroyshka doll family celebrations, and the observance and promotion of Martin Luther King Day, to name a few. While the school has been unable to have its multi-ethnic canteen open due to the pandemic, students read the book, "What's in our lunchbox!" to gain an understanding that our cultural backgrounds bring us different lunches and these meals are part of what make us unique.

Student leadership is currently being encouraged at the grade 3/4 level in the creation of a presentation to staff to advocate for the implementation of "Black T-Shirt Day" on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day, Jan. 15, as a way to mark the civil rights struggle of Black Canadians. Students are being encouraged to learn about civil rights and to advocate for change within the school and their community.

As well, General Vanier's grade 7 and 8 students have recently completed a unit in English and Social Studies that looked at the influence many black leaders have had on shaping the world we live in. Their study included ways to create an inclusive and anti-racist community, as well as taking the time to reflect on subjects concerning racial injustice. One student chose to learn more about MMIWG and presented her learning to the class.

Frontenac School

In Mr. Kasbia's grade 5/6 classroom at Frontenac School, students engaged in a detailed review and conversation surrounding the books Lion's Mane and Dreamers. As well, the students examined the Underground Railroad and learned about the importance of Canadians such as Viola Desmond. From these readings and conversations, the class went further to challenge themselves and others on how to be a more caring and compassionate community and global citizens.

In Ms. Ritchie's Grade 7/8 classroom, the students are examining and learning about important global issues of racism present in our current world. They are working toward understanding what racism is; what the anti-racism movement is about; and what being an anti-racism ally truly means all while meeting student outcomes in an authentic and meaningful way.

École Provencher

At École Provencher, students work alongside Auntie Brenda, a member of LRSD's Indigenous Education Team, on a daily basis. The school community frequently incorporates the Circle of Courage into conversations to help resolve daily issues. They decide if a situation falls under the category of Belonging, Independence, Mastery or Generosity to help find a solution. Auntie Brenda is teaching Ojibwe lessons to Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. 

"Every time when we greet each other, we say Boozhoo. We talked about clothing and how they actually used the skin from animals to make boots. We learn Ojibwe songs in Music class sometimes. Ojibwe is very fun to learn," said Alex, a Grade 1 student.

Read more student testimonials. 

Glenwood School

Staff and students at Glenwood School strive to confront and eliminate racism throughout the year by weaving anti-racism themes and activities into who they are as a community. Last year, staff and students worked with an Indigenous teacher to create a school-specific land acknowledgement that highlights the need for education and understanding to learn about and from the mistakes of our past. This land acknowledgment is read with the morning announcements.

The school's younger students engage in important discussions by studying Canadian BIPOC inventors, civil rights leaders and recognizing events like Black History Month and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Recently, students in junior high read Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. This has sparked discussions about the racial injustice still taking place around the world, in our country, in our city, and in our community.  

Samuel Burland School

The grade 7 and 8 staff and students who work together in room 17 asked to be leaders and teachers for the school throughout Anti-Racism Week. They invited the school to listen closely to school announcement where two students shared information about what anti-racism is, what it looks like and how to achieve it. The students also created various pieces of art and posted them around the school and a PowerPoint to be featured on the screen at the school entrance. The group is currently working on creating a short film and have researched and shared YouTube videos that support conversations about anti-racism. Each of these projects is completed in hopes that conversations about anti-racism carry throughout the school and into the homes of all Samuel Burland staff and students. 

Glenlawn Collegiate

This semester, Jae Pirnie's Grade 9 class has been focused on learning about Human Rights. In February, the Glenlawn Collegiate Institute Black History Month Student Committee organized a Living Library which allowed the class to digitally welcome several members of the community into their classroom to chat with them about their lived experience. For the month of March, students researched one of six options from a list of Canadian human rights violations. These violations included Residential Schools, Slavery, Japanese Internment Camps, the Chinese Head Tax, Eugenics and Women's Rights.

This week, in step with Anti-Racism Week, students are having one-on-one conversations about what they learned. The conversations are rich; with students asking one another questions and sharing in their shock that these events took place in Canada. The goal of these conversations is to become familiar with all of the topics. Through this activity students are recognizing and learning about the mistakes of Canada's past in order to help make sure they do not happen again. Ms. Pirnie has planned on extending this curiosity in human rights to themed book clubs that will start in April. Students had the opportunity to choose from a selection of nine texts that cover a wide variety of topics, cultures, and experiences. Like any successful activity Ms. Pirnie was inspired and worked collaboratively with her colleagues, Matt Fabbri, Mel Godin and Cynthia Taylor. 

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École Sage Creek School 

The students in the grade 2/3 class at École Sage Creek School have been doing a class novel study with a focus on anti-racism and have read Planet Omar, Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian. 

After meeting with the author via video chat, the class decided to read the second book Planet Omar, Unexpected Super Spy. The main character, Omar, is a young boy in London whose humour and imagination get him through racism and bullying, and teaches children that kindness wins. The class also has been highlighting the importance of anti-racism by displaying and referencing posters like the ones below. 

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École Varennes

To promote belonging and anti-racism, École Varennes kindergarten students read the book Brown, The Many Shades of Love by Nancy Johnson James to celebrate differences and share individual stories. Students then connected science outcomes to mix the colors of their skin tones into a rainbow as a symbol of love and respect for each other. Staff and students at École Varennes celebrate the diversity of its community regularly which is just one example of the ways they meet the outcomes LRSD's Multi-Year Strategic Goal of Creating a Strong Sense of Belonging. 

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Collège Béliveau

Anti-Racism week at Collège Béliveau has focused on both education around BIPOC experiences in Canada and amplification of voices of those who make up the global majority.

Education is happening:

  •  Inside classrooms – through viewing and discussing documentaries, learning about current realities such as lack of clean drinking water on reserves, noting problematic representation of BIPOC in film and media, familiarizing ourselves with the TRC's Calls to Action as well as the MMIWG inquiry's Calls for Justice.
  • In the school's hallways - Through student-made posters showing pathways to allyship
  • On social media – using both the school Instagram account (cuda_clubs) and the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies Instagram account (cuda_FNMI). The school account has focused on allyship this week, and the FNMI student-created account is a safe space to inform and educate, promote awareness, encourage activism and share joy.

Amplification is happening:

  • Inside classrooms – through novels, videos, poetry and artwork created by and centring the voices of people belonging to the global majority.
  • In the school's hallways – through representation in all school-created promotional posters, and through book suggestions by the school's library team on school televisions.
  • On social media – by centring BIPOC content and creators in the stories and posts they share.

cb.jpgcb2.jpgMinnetonka School

In honour of Winnipeg's first Anti-Racism Week, Library Technician Ms. Brydges at Minnetonka School shared books with students that celebrate and elevate #OwnVoices. #OwnVoices is a term coined by the writer Corinne Duyvis and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing from their perspective.

Windsor School

The topic of ending racism is discussed and taught throughout the year at Windsor School. It starts every day with a Land Acknowledgement and promising to respect Indigenous Peoples and communities and dedicating to move forward in a spirit reconciliation. As you walk through the halls and into classrooms, the Circle of Courage is displayed and used to create classroom cultures and treaties.

During Black History Month, some of Windsor School's youngest learners had meaningful conversations about racism, slavery and Nelson Mandela.

This week some students watched a video called Teaching Children About Racism. They then made posters on the topic of anti-racism.

Students in Grade 4 are completing a poetry writing activity called "Being Me." The idea is inspired by the book In the Spirit of Humanity which features art projects created by Manitoban students who are encouraged to feel good about themselves, to realize all cultures have things to offer and that each student has value. 

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Dr. D. W. Penner School

Students from kindergarten to grade 6 at Dr. D.W. Penner School engaged in conversations and activities focused on anti-racism, inclusion and equity throughout Anti-Racism Week. Class discussions were held around the read aloud for Jelani Memory's A Kids Book About Racism where students reflected on what racism means and what they can do if they see racism happening. To consolidate learning and celebrate diversity, classrooms co-created a bulletin board with a handprint belonging to each student. Each handprint highlights unique strengths, skills and qualities. This bulletin board is directly across from the school's new sign that welcomes staff, students and guests in over 80 languages. Both serve as a visual reminder that when we uplift and celebrate ourselves and one another, we are always "Stronger Together." 

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Nordale School

Grade 8 students at Nordale School are completing a project that looks at the rise of Abstract Expressionism during World War II as a way of healing. Abstract Expressionism was a way for artists to express their views and emotions during times of persecution and conflict.  

Students have been discussing how art and music reflect the diverse culture of humans and play a critical role in preserving the voices of people who were silenced throughout history.  

École Henri-Bergeron

Staff and students at École Henri-Bergeron have been working on combatting racism throughout the year. Some of the measures they have taken include integrating the principles of the Circle of Courage in recent Celebration of Learning reflections in which students reflected on their role in their classroom, the school and their individual work. These reflections also informed the goals many students developed for third term. Additionally, students have been learning about Viola Desmond and other civil rights leaders. The Grade 7/8 classes recently spoke with a Winnipegger who was born in Africa about her experiences with war and healing and what life in Canada has been like for her. Currently, a few classes are working with Cameroon "artoonist" Nyphaga for murals on cartoon art and African drumming. The school also has a session planned after Spring Break with an educational leader born in Haiti and raised in Winnipeg.

"Bringing in different perspectives, broadening and deepening our students' understanding of the world is our way of fighting racism," said Sharad Srivastava, principal at École Henri-Bergeron.

École George-McDowell

Students of all ages at École George-McDowell planned a variety of initiatives for Black History Month that have continued into March. A few examples include a school-wide art project highlighting artists in the Harlem Renaissance, a BINGO activity featuring contributions of Black Canadians, video and film projects with anti-racism themes and more. These projects will inspire ongoing conversations among the school community about diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dakota Collegiate

Voices for BIPOC is a new student-led committee at Dakota Collegiate (DCI) that stands for inclusivity and anti-racism. The committee of approximately 15 students recently created Black History Month programming, including an informational website, a poster project amplifying student voices and a video featuring DCI students and notable Manitobans such as Jamie Moses and Andrew Harris.

Voices for BIPOC has initiated anti-racist discussions with the school's football team and is currently collaborating with Mino Giizhiigaad, DCI's Indigenous Education Committee, to promote an Orange Shirt Day design contest. Future plans include recognition of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirited People in May and further engagement with the diverse school population.

"Voices for BIPOC has been really important to me for many reasons," said Astric Saraswat, a grade 10 student who championed the committee. "Having a place where I can talk to other people about my experiences with racism and getting support from other people who have faced the same struggles has really helped me. Voices for BIPOC is also been a way to enact change and further education in our community. I think groups like ours can make a big difference in our communities."

Louis Riel School Division

On Thursday, March 17, LRSD launched its Indigenous, BIPOC, and Ethno-Cultural Diversity Employee Survey. Through this voluntary survey, the division aims to better understand the level of representation among staff in 40 schools in Winnipeg. With this knowledge, we can co-create an action plan to improve the ways we provide and build a more equitable and inclusive environment in the months and years to come. Learn more about the survey.

Windsor Park Collegiate

Nine students in the Career Internship Program are attending a youth-focused conversation on anti-racism on March 25. The event is hosted by the City of Winnipeg, in partnership with Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW), Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, and Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.  

The goal for the session is to hear young people's experience with racism and discussing an action plan to address the issue in Winnipeg. During the virtual conversation, students will be added to breakout rooms and one student from Windsor Park Collegiate will be presenting the discussion to City Council.

Louis Riel Arts & Technology Centre

Following the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in 2020, staff at the Louis Riel Arts & Technology Centre wanted a way to help ensure feelings of belonging within the school. A group of staff quickly got to work creating t-shirts with the slogan When Hate is Loud, Love is Louder. On any given day, at least one staff member can be seen wearing a Love is Louder shirt and the initiative has been a starting point for conversations about racial inequality.

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❗UPDATED: COVID-19 Parent/Guardian Resources❗ ➡What should I do if my child is sick? ➡When does my household need to self-isolate? View the updated infographics: https://t.co/mrO8fAoQcv https://t.co/WAR7mUZs3o

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RT @MBGov: Manitoba public health and education officials have announced revised #COVID19 definitions and case management protocols in #Manitoba schools to help keep kids in school to protect them from the physical and mental health effects of #Covid19MB public health measures. (1/3) https://t.co/ukPmhqEUj5

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SING! with the Divisional Senior Concert Choir. Auditions are being held at Dakota Collegiate on Sept. 21 and 28. Get all the details: https://t.co/Wx6zZyQQKQ https://t.co/UnIVYEEiMO

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