OASW Acknowledges and Celebrates Black History Month 


TORONTO, February 5 , 2021 - OASW joins Ontarians across the province to honour the legacy and contributions of Black Canadians.  Black History Month was an initiative adopted by the Ontario government in 1979 through advocacy by the Ontario Black History Society.  It stands to remind us of the rich contributions to history and nation building, the ongoing struggle for equity, and the continued fight for social justice. We both honour and acknowledge the significant influence of Black Canadians, past and present.

Black Canadians and communities continue to demonstrate extraordinary achievements across systems and settings from youth activism and global movements, to advancements in environmental science and medicine, to innovation in economic growth. Importantly, we wish to celebrate and recognize the tremendous contributions Black Social Workers have made to the profession of social work. We see you. We respect and honour your strengths, courage and resilience. 

The United Nations has also proclaimed this to be the International Decade of People of African descent focused on themes of recognition, justice and development and it is amidst this backdrop that we celebrate this year’s Black History Month. We encourage our members and partners to reflect, act, create new opportunities for knowledge building and emerging Black leaders.

As we take time to learn about the numerous and significant contributions of African, Caribbean, and Black Canadians to our province and country, let us also acknowledge our collective responsibility and restore our commitment to support action as allies and accomplices in dismantling racism. Our OASW journey will continue the work of equity integration to raise our organization’s accountability to our members and the community at large and deepening our moral and ethical obligations to social justice and human rights. While we support culture change and challenging discussions, we also recognize the strengths of deliberate actions in solidarity. As we take up the 2021 theme for Black History Month: "The Future is Now,” we are working now and towards a future that is free of anti-black racism. 

About OASW
OASW is the voice of social work in Ontario. It is a voluntary, bilingual, non-profit association representing approximately 6500 social workers. All members have a university degree in social work at the bachelor, master or doctoral level. OASW works to actively speak on behalf of social workers on issues of interest to the profession and advocates for the improvement of social policies and programs directly affecting social work practice and client groups served.