OCSB adopts UN Year for African Descent

Photo: OCSB Trustees and Senior Administration with students Serena Iyoha and Jasmine Adibe (holding the plaque) and Moses Pratt, Global Community Alliance (front centre, right).


Our Declaration for the International Decade for People of African Descent

Shelley Montgomery, Superintendent of Leading and Learning

The United Nations (UN) has declared 2015-2024 an International Decade for People of African Descent to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society.

Consistent with Catholic teachings, the OCSB provides a loving and positive environment which respects and promotes the dignity of all people. Respecting the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent Declaration, a committee was formed with the mandate to develop and support an OCSB Declaration for People of African Descent as well as to create tangible commitments that will be included in our Equity Action Plan. The committee membership consisted of OCSB staff and representatives from the Ottawa community.

Deborah Kealey, Principal of St. Peter High School, Serena Iyoha and Jasmine Adibe, students from St. Mother Teresa High School, Moses Pratt, community representative from Global Community Alliance, and Shelley Montgomery, Superintendent of Leading and Learning, presented the declaration to the Board of Trustees.


“I am very proud to have been part of the OCSB for 29 years and look forward to the Board continuing its commitment to the International Decade long after 2024.”

Moses Pratt, Global Community Alliance


The following are tangible commitments included in the OCSB’s Equity Action Plan:

  • We commit to incorporating the histories of people of African descent into the curricula from Kindergarten to Grade 12, beginning with, but not limited to: Religion, Language Arts, Social Science and Humanities.
  • We commit to incorporating an Equity Walk in all working and learning environments by December 20, 2019, with the purpose of building greater recognition and awareness in our symbols, structures and environments.
  • We commit to increasing representation of diverse employees and leaders in the board, and providing professional learning on diversity and anti-bias training for staff.
  • We commit to embedding Equity and Diversity professional learning within the New Teacher Induction Program.
  • We commit to establishing a subcommittee in May 2019 specifically focusing on Black History events and initiatives planned in partnership with students, staff, parents and community members.
  • We commit to continuing to explore ways in which the OCSB can honour and support our diverse and vibrant community.
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