How to Break Barriers!

We are full of gratitude for all the educators, parents, and caregivers who joined us this weekend for Breaking Barriers: Achieving Black Student Excellence. While many painful and difficult facts about the challenges Black students face in educational spaces were presented, innovative solutions sprung out of the hard conversations, and a real collective commitment to systemic change was palpable in the air. That commitment to change was made visible by the very presence of our parent, caregiver, and educator attendees who showed up on an early Saturday morning prepared to have challenging conversations.

Don’t just take our word for it: here is what attendees of Breaking Barriers have to say.

"...for many marginalized youth the growth mindset is already there, it's required to get through the barriers placed in front of them. They don't need a pep talk from educators, they need to feel they can trust us to support them in pursuit of their learning and goals."
Thank you  @Parents4Divers1  for putting on this amazing conference on addressing anti-Black racism in schools & what it means to be a culturally responsive educator who attends to the subtleties of deep culture with respect & sensitivity. #BreakingBarriers #RepresentationMatters
Thank you  @Parents4Divers1  for putting on this amazing conference on addressing anti-Black racism in schools & what it means to be a culturally responsive educator who attends to the subtleties of deep culture with respect & sensitivity. #BreakingBarriers #RepresentationMatters
Thank you @ManteMolepo for opening up this space for educators to lean in! @AshtonOCSB @alkinahan1 @mrjdaher @SandraNaufal @LeslieKaduck @MrsNWhitehouse @TDOttawa #RepresentationMatters #ocsbEquity
Thank you @Parents4Divers1 & @ManteMolepo for leading our reflections and conversations today in Breaking Barriers: Achieving Black Student Excellence #ocsb #leanin #DoTheWork
Only a few of the important black student voice images from the gallery walk today. This was very powerful and really had us thinking about our implicit roles in perpetuating  assumptions that have massive impact on our students’ learning #BreakingBarriers #RepresentationMatters
A few  @TDMcGeeOCSB  educators at the #BreakingBarriers conference this morning.   Thank you  @Parents4Divers1  for providing attendees with a safe space in which we could think and talk about uncomfortable things like racism and privilege.
Important information being shared with parents, setting the intention for why the 2019  @OCDSB   Student Survey is essential for ABC communities #OBEN #BreakingBarriersConference  @parents4divers1
Next Steps to Unlearn:  - Recognize Unconscious Bias - Challenge Systemic Barriers  - Critique curriculum - Collaborate with community   #BreakingBarriers #RepresentationMatters
Listening to and not through your students. So powerful  @Parents4Divers1
If you feel unsafe, singled out in a space: - your well-being is diminished - you are not free to learn  #BreakingBarriers #RepresentationMatters
Original tweet: Thanks  @Parents4Divers1  and  @ManteMolepo  for leading a session today on Breaking Barriers - Achieving Black Student Excellence  - we’re continuing to learn  @OttCatholicSB  - thanks to #ocsb educators that were able to attend today QRT: Great learning experience thanks to @Parents4Divers1, @ManteMolepo and Ottawa Educators' Network. with a group picture and a table with books
Screenshot of tweet reading: Grateful for @Parents4Divers1 @OttCatholicSB & the @OCDSB for allowing parents and educators the opportunity on a Saturday morning to break barriers surrounding racism & achieving Black student excellence. @ManteMolepo #ocsb #P4D #oscbBeCommunity #RepresentationMatters with an image of a page showing the statistics of black girls in public schools

Thank you to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board for supporting this event. Breaking Barriers: Achieving Black Student Excellence wouldn’t have been possible without the hundreds of hours of volunteer work from the Parents for Diversity and Ottawa Black Educators Network teams. Thank you to every person who make this event happen, and stay tuned for future learning opportunities!

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