The Centre for Black Student Excellence Newsletter - March 2023

YRDSB Upcoming Events

Mailing List

As part of our commitment to dismantling anti-Black racism, YRDSB has launched the Centre for Black Student Excellence Mailing List

Family members subscribed the mailing list will receive information about:

  • Updates and programs from the Centre for Black Student Excellence 
  • Information about Board programs that would benefit Black students, families with Black children
  • Community flyers and programs that would benefit Black students and families with Black children

Families can sign up for the mailing list using this subscription form, available at, and can unsubscribe at any time. 

The mailing list is one of the key commitments outlined in our
Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy.
For more information please visit the Centre for Black Student Excellence.


Black Voices

YRDSB will be celebrating Black History Month (and beyond) with Celebrating Black Excellence - Black Voices. 

Celebrating Black Excellence - Black Voices aims to centre and celebrate the Black members of

our YRDSB community and share their voices. This campaign asks students, staff and community members who identify as Black to consider submitting a short video of themselves answering one or more of the following prompts:

  • I am proud to be Black because..
  • It’s important to me that I see my identity affirmed at school/work because…
  • What I need at school/work is…
  • People need to know that…
  • I love myself because…
  • I am magic because…
  • Do you have a story to tell? Let us know what it is.
  • If these prompts don’t resonate with you, please feel free to answer a prompt or question of your own making.

These videos will be shared as Reels on the @yrdsb.schools Instagram account throughout the month of February and beyond, and may be featured on the Black Excellence webpage or in a YRDSB video. 

Submissions from students must be made through our internal submission form and be accompanied by a signed consent form from a parent/guardian. Students who are interested in making a submission should connect with a staff member or principal from their school to get access to the student submission form. Submissions from the public can be made through our public form on the Board website.


YRDSB Programs

Black Excellence Program

The vision of the Black Excellence Program, (BEP), is to advance the achievement, wellbeing and sense of belonging of Black students in YRDSB schools through responsive programming that affirms their identity, builds on their strengths, and enhances their access to academic opportunities after high school. Students will have opportunities to learn from each other, experts from diverse fields, and mentors who will uplift, inspire and encourage them.
The Center for Black Student Excellence is pleased to announce that in the 2022-2023 school year, the program will be extended to 100 students from YRDSB secondary schools who self-identify as Black or African descended.

Please share information about the Black Excellence Program with your school community and encourage your students to sign-up for this Black-affirming experience using the BEP Registration Form.


Ascending Sisters Pilot Project

In alignment with the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy, Ascending Sisters serves as a mentorship program that connects Black girls and Black non-binary students with self-identified Black YRDSB staff (e.g., teachers, educational assistants, Child and Youth workers, support professionals, administrators). Cisgender girls, transgender girls and non binary students from grades 7-10 in selected pilot schools are all welcome to participate.

Through targeted wellness, health and mentorship opportunities, students will be provided with the opportunity to develop a stronger sense of self, promote healing, increase ability to advocate, communicate effectively and further enhance their leadership skills.

Please contact the Black Excellence Planning Team at if you have further questions.


Rise Brothers

Rise Brothers is committed to supporting Black males–elementary & secondary students–from grades 7 to 12. Through school contacts, participating schools will be asked to recommend Black male students who fit the following new criteria:

  • Black male-identified
  • Presently achieving level 2 or below (elementary) or credit deficient (secondary)
  • Have experienced attendance challenges
  • Have a problematic school discipline history

Please take a look at our promotional video, which outlines the program’s vision and goals.

Please contact the Black Excellence Planning Team at if you have further questions.



The Alliance of Educators for Black Students(AEBS) is committed to promoting well-being and excellence in achievement for students of African/ Caribbean heritage.  You can follow them on Twitter@AEBSyrdsb.


Learn more about Black community agencies that provide supports in your area:

Aurora Black Community (ABC)

ANCHOR (Formerly Vaughan African Canadian Association (VACA)

BYR (Black York Region Youth)

Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association (MACCA)

Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA)

Parents of Black Children

The Black Foundation of Community Networks (BFCN)

York Region Alliance of African Canadian Communities (YRAACC)


Upcoming Community Events

Monday, February 27th 7:00pm-9:00pm:

AFC Film Screening - BROTHER
Black History Celebration with the pre-released Canadian film BROTHER in the big theater, Cineplex Odeon Aurora Cinemas- Free to Everyone!  RSVP for AFC Film Screening.

Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00pm:
Markham Fire and Emergency Services and Humber College

This scholarship is open to Black youth with ties to Markha or York Region.

Join on zoom
Meeting ID : 886 8598 8476
Passcode: 044909

NACCA/Black History Month 2023
We are very pleased to have planned an exciting roster of events !

March, 2023 -MACCA/York Region Youth School Success Initiative
Now accepting Black students in grades 6-8 in the York Region Youth School Success Initiative! Kick off the week of March 21st. Register today!

Sunday, March 5 from 12:00pm - 5:00pm - BYR Youth Black Youth Marketplace: Bill Crothers SS

Location: 44 Main St. Unionville ON

This market will be a drop-in event where Black Youth Entrepreneurs and Artists ages 15-30, get to sell and promote their products and services. Black Youth artists will have the opportunity to sell and showcase their bodies of work. Our pop-up will also feature a DJ, a panel of experienced Black Youth entrepreneurs, catered food and much more!

Register for the BYB Youth Black Marketplace: Bill Crothers.


SHINE Podcast

Listen to the SHINE Podcast

SHINE is a YRDSB podcast that features voices from the Black community. It introduces conversations that inspire and challenge. Guests share their lived experiences, advice, industry expertise and more. SHINE is a production of Tune In YRDSB. Tune In YRDSB is the first podcast of its kind in Ontario, featuring a wide range of topics related to education. Tune In YRDSB is available on all major podcast platforms.

To request support from a member of the Centre for Black Student Excellence team
please email: