Educate and unite: Black Excellence Day

Headshot of Kamika Williams on the left and the logo for Black Excellence Day on the right

Black Excellence Day celebrates Black history, Black stories, Black art and Black people. It is a day to recognize the contributions of Black Canadians, to stand in solidarity and to learn more about ongoing civil rights struggles.

The initiative was created by the Ninandotoo Society, whose president and co-founder is Royal Roads Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management grad Kamika Williams.

The society chose both their name and the day's name to honour the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Swahili “nina ndoto” translates to “I have a dream” and the term "Black Excellence" was born out of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

“Black Excellence Day was created to shift the negative stereotypes and narratives projected on Black people and instead showcase our various accomplishments and successes," says Williams. "The civil rights struggles and contributions of Black Canadians often go unacknowledged in our school curriculum and history books.”

Williams says she thinks it's important for Black youth to be normalized and feel represented in Canadian history and present day society.

The official Black Excellence Day event, which takes place virtually Jan. 14, 2022 at 10 a.m, is one such opportunity.

"I hope youth can see themselves in our hosts and speakers and know that there are no limits to their potential; that anything they accomplish is excellent," says Williams. "It's not about being the best, it's about truly loving yourself and feeling a sense of pride and knowing you have a community of support when facing obstacles such as racism.”

For more information, contact the Ninandotoo Society.