Statement by Minister Khera on Black History Month


OTTAWA, February 1,2024

Happy Black History Month!

The theme for Black History Month 2024 is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.” Throughout February and all year long, we will be acknowledging the incredible contributions, past and present, that Black Canadians have made to Canadian society while also recommitting ourselves to building a more inclusive and equitable Canada.

In December 1995, the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada following a motion introduced by the Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament. Since then, every February Canadians from coast to coast to coast come together to celebrate and learn more about the legacies of trailblazers like Abraham Beverley Walker, Canada’s first Black lawyer, and contemporary filmmaker Ilhan Abdullahi.

This month is an opportunity to celebrate these agents of change and recognize their achievements. At the same time, it also offers us the chance to rededicate ourselves to addressing the systemic barriers that continue to be a daily reality for Black Canadians.

Since the very beginning, our government has been steadfast in our commitment to fighting anti-Black racism in all its forms. To that end, Canada officially recognized the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent in 2018. The Government also continues to invest in Black-led and Black-serving organizations across the country and to work toward eliminating longstanding systemic barriers to social and economic inclusion. Most recently, Budget 2023 provided an additional $25 million to the Supporting Black Canadian Communities Initiative, extending the program for an additional year and bringing the total commitment up to $200 million since 2019.

As Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities, I firmly believe that a more inclusive Canada is a more resilient Canada. That is why our government will continue to combat racism by soon introducing a new Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy and Canada’s first ever Action Plan on Combatting Hate.

In Canada, diversity is a reality, and fostering inclusion is a shared responsibility. As we commemorate Black History Month, I invite all Canadians to join in celebrating and deepening our understanding of Black history, as well as the vibrant Black communities thriving across Canada. 


For more information (media only), please contact:

Laurent de Casanove
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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