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second- and third-generation Canadian Black students had with the education system when they were younger. According to the Black Experience Project


(an Environics research study of the lived expe- rience of individuals who self-identify as Black or of African heritage across the Greater To- ronto Area), despite the diversity of the Black population in the GTA “there is a striking com- monality of experience when it comes to be- ing treated unfairly because of race.” These are the lived experiences of our Black students and their families (whether they are first-, second- or third-generation Canadian). Ontario and other parts of Canada have a persistent prob- lem of overt prejudice, discrimination, profil- ing and mistreatment of Black people. Within our institutions, some of this has become more covert as language and culture has shifted, but it continues to exist nonetheless. It is impor- tant to understand both the history and the lived experiences of Black students and their parents because for some it has resulted in a mistrust of our institutions. I know about this mistrust because of the


conversations I have had with my students and their parents. I have students confide in me when they deal with racism in their communi- ty and I have to find the words to rebuild their confidence while preparing them for the fact that it will not be the last time that they will deal with racism. I have parents express delight


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16 ETFO VOICE | SPRING 2019


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