Eva Smith was a Black woman who was a pillar of the North York community and she brought attention to important issues such as hidden homelessness. Although she passed away in 1993, Eva’s spirit has lived on in our work. We’ve been sharing facts about Eva over the course of February as we celebrate her and other examples of excellence in Black communities. You can read her story here.
Across our facilities, Black History Month has been celebrated in lots of ways, such as themed movie nights and good reads. At an all staff meeting, we played a Canadian Black History quiz game. Local Toronto music artist SlowPitchSound came in to talk about his work and Afrofuturism. Youth got to create “Lego descendants” with Ekow Nimako in his workshop, Building Beyond: An Identity-Based Art Workshop Where Afrofuturism Meets Lego.
“She loved all students, but she was very, very keen for the progress of Black students.”
– My Name Is Eva: A Biography of Eva Smith (William Manning)
Eva Smith cared deeply about the education of Black youth and offered Saturday programs to help close the gap students were facing. Black youth continue to experience barriers to education due to racism. We can learn from Eva and other leaders in the Black community how to do better.
As we honour and acknowledge the past, it’s important to also look towards the future. We enjoyed this particular NOW Magazine article Black Futures Month: Five Torontonians imagine a city without anti-Black racism.
Black history, futures, and excellence are always important, not just in February. This month gives us an opportunity to focus on Black communities, but we all need to do our part every day to strive for equity. As Eva believed, when one person suffers, we all suffer.
How would you like to see the Eva’s continue the conversation? How will you?
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