February marks Black History Month (BHM), but historical injustices, like systemic racism and oppression, are ongoing issues. As a charity that exists to serve all children and youth with learning differences, we are continually doing what we can to dismantle the internal and external systems that pose barriers to the full participation of students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Colour (BIPOC). With this in mind, LDS will be celebrating BHM by amplifying Black voices, resources for the Black community, and Black-led organizations.
Black Folks with Dyslexia
- Muhammad Ali was not only a celebrated boxer but also an outspoken activist.
- Octavia Spencer is the first Black actress to receive two consecutive Academy Award nominations and dyslexic.
- Harry Belafonte is one of the most famous Jamaican-American pop singers in history for bringing Caribbean music to the world in the 1950s. He was also a civil rights activist and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
- Whoopi Goldberg is a comedian and one of only 16 people in award history to accomplish an EGOT—winning an Emmy (TV), Grammy (Music), Oscar (Film), and Tony (Stage).
Books with Representation
Representation in the resources we provide is important to LDS. These books authored or co-authored by Black authors share our core values of community, kindness, acceptance, and achievement.
- What if We Were All the Same! by C. M. Harris
- IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi
These organizations and non profits address historical injustices and help underserved groups like BIPOC youth by providing services and resources. Like LDS, these non profits are working to create change in our society and are essential for creating inclusive communities.
- Foundation for Black Communities exists to ensure every Black person in Canada can thrive and all Black communities have agency in defining their own future. They ensure that Black-led and Black-serving organizations have the sustained resources they need to make a meaningful impact.
- Black Health Alliance is a community-led charity working to improve the health and well-being of Black communities in Canada. Driven by groundbreaking research and strong people and partnerships, this movement continues to build innovative solutions to create lasting change in the lives of Black children, families and communities.
- Black Youth Helpline offers Multicultural Youth Helpline & Services; Professional, culturally relevant youth and family assessments and intervention; Stay-In-School Initiatives; and Parent & Family Support.
- Hogan’s Alley Society advocates for Black Vancouverites who have endured the legacies of urban renewal and their erasure from the official historical narrative. Through their initiatives, they hope to build the capacity of racialized and marginalized communities to participate in city building.
Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people.
Sierra Gemma (she/her) is LDS’ Communications and Fundraising Manager, working remotely from Lək̓ʷəŋən land on Vancouver Island. Sierra has a BA in History and Sociology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She enjoys community building, reading, and writing nonfiction, for which she has received a National Newspaper Award and a National Magazine Award.