Black History 365

See what’s on

Black History is about engagement, education, sharing and celebration. We’re grateful to our community partners for sharing their experience and knowledge, so please check out these resources!

If you want to read more, view our curated booklists:

If you looking for film, view the curated collection from Kanopy

Proclamation: Black History Month

Mayor Lynn Dollin on behalf of the Town of Innisfil proclaimed the month of February as Black History Month at the January 10th Council meeting.

Movie Highlight: Rise!

In honour of Black History Month we would like to highlight the film Rise! 
Rise! examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable.

Watch now, all you need is your Library card.

What’s Cooking Innisfil: Spotlight on the Caribbean

Enjoy cooking with Roxann Whittingham, owner of Ms Hotty Hotty Jerk Marinade for a virtual cooking class as she puts her heart and soul into cooking classic Caribbean food.
What’s Cooking, Innisfil? Jerk Style Shrimp & Spaghetti

MakeIT Family Drop In! Saturday, March 2 1:30-3:30pm

Tinkershops are a great way to get acquainted with the Library’s hackLAB and Digital Media Lab technology. From vinyl cutting, lasering, 3D printing, digital conversion, circuitry, or coding, you won’t believe what you can do!

MakeIT Family invites you and a grown-up to embark on a captivating journey into the world of creativity and innovation in our HackLAB. Join us for a hands-on activity that promises not just fun, but also a chance to explore, experiment, and bond.

Join us on Saturday, March 2 during the Radiant Roots Black Cultural Expo for a special MakeIT Family featuring a Paint By Numbers activity designed by Lewis the Artist.

Ages 6 – 12, must be accompanied by an adult (younger siblings may also participate). FREE


The Vibrant History of Simcoe County: Our Local Black History, presented by Parents Against Racism Simcoe County

Celebrate Black History Month with the Parents Against Racism Simcoe County (PARSC) who are proud to offer this meaningful learning opportunity for all!
Did you know that Simcoe County had underground railroad stops? Do you know what the names New “Tecumseth” and “Washago” mean? Learn about the roots of Simcoe County’s Black history and get a new appreciation and understanding of how it has impacted us today. Opportunity to participate in an optional interactive activity (cell phone required).

Free Adults and ages 12+.
Lakeshore: Saturday, February 17, 1 – 2:30pm

You’re invited to join us as we talk to New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott about his recent novel Hell of a Book. This magnificent work of fiction is deeply honest, at times electrically funny, and is a book that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole.

Exploring Identity, Love, and Being Black in America in Fiction Writing: A Conversation with Award-Winning Author Jason Mott.
Tuesday, February 20 at 4pm. Register here.

Join Making Change for their first Radiant Roots, a Black Cultural Expo.

The event will include cultural vendors, food, crafts, speakers, a fashion show and entertainment for the whole family.

Saturday, March 2, 10-3pm

Genealogy for Black and African-American Ancestors

Conducting genealogical research on Black and African-American ancestors has historically been challenging as a consequence of institutional racism and how it has limited the availability of accurate records. Despite improvements in more recent history, the inadequacy of earlier record-keeping continues to be an issue.

As a result, the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library has created a starter guide in order to provide resources that may assist beginners and experienced researchers alike to find their Black and African-American ancestors in Ontario, in Canada, and in the United States.

Our Partners Past and Present

Get to know the speakers and organizers behind these Black History Month events.

Debbie Opoku-Mulder


Read more about Debbie

Debbie Opoku-Mulde holds a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology. She is passionate about equipping individuals and groups with the tools and resources needed to educate and motivate themselves to be innovative and creative. Her work is guided from an anti-oppressive, healing focused, trauma informed and anti-Black racism lens.

As a therapist for 13 years, Debbie works to erase the stigma associated with mental health and give people the tools they need to share their story and recognize that they are not alone on this journey. She brings her diverse and unique perspective to every audience.

Jason George

Wildlife Photographer | Presenter | Teacher

Read more about Jason

Jason George is a wildlife photographer and presenter, who retired from teaching because his love/curiosity of wildlife pulled him out of the profession and actually the city as he chases his dream. He has travel to every Continent except Antarctica, having some EPIC experiences along the way. Jason now uses his passion for wildlife to inspire future generations to help the animals he loves as he shares his work. Jason has been fortunate to speak (in person and virtually) with not only school groups, girl guides and special needs groups but he had the opportunity to present in person in his parents’ home country of Jamacia about this wildlife passion. He leads private tours and presentations for all abilities. Check out his work we are sure you’ll find a photo or story there that will make you smile.


Making Change

Community Group and Partner

Read more about Making Change

Making Change’s GOAL is to spark broad community interest and foster conversations around inclusion and diversity.  We have a specific focus on raising awareness and educating and exposing people to Black communities, Black cultures, and issues around anti-Black racism. We are building community inclusion and togetherness through activities, allyship, participation and discussion. 

​Through our year-long initiatives, programs and educational sessions, including during Black History Month, Making Change embraces the community values that connect us as people, bring us closer together, and encourage us to support each other.

​It’s really about community togetherness.

Ramona Deane

Board Chair and Education Director of UpLift Black

Read more about Ramona

Ramona Deane is a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) at the Simcoe County District School Board and Board Chair and Education Director of UpLift Black, an organization working to build the visibility and socio-economic development of Black people based in Simcoe/Muskoka. Ramona is an engaging speaker, dynamic presenter, passionate voice for the community

Roxann Whittingham

Child & Youth Practitioner | Owner of Ms. Hotty Hotty | Author | Change Maker

Read more about Roxann

Roxann Whittingham is a trained Child and Youth Practitioner, graduating at the top of her class from Georgian College while working as the VP of Community Engagement for that institution. She also holds a diploma in Education and has over ten years of teaching experience, working with elementary and high school students in Jamaica. She has a distinct passion for advocating for, empowering, motivating, and inspiring young people. Most of her Canadian work experience revolves around children and youth from marginalized groups, with various disabilities and mental health conditions. Her Caribbean upbringing and roots gave her the tenacity and resiliency skills needed to support this dynamic group. Roxann does everything with ‘heart and soul’, an imperative ingredient needed for the vulnerable sector in which she practices.

Roxann is a change-maker and backs up her values and beliefs with action. She is the proud founder of the Black Education Empowerment (Scholarship) Fund, (B.E.E.F), instituted to encourage and support black students applying to Georgian College while stimulating diversity. She is the owner of ‘Ms. Hotty Hotty’, a company that produces authentic Jamaican Jerk Marinade, a published author of three books, a proud member of the OACYC, South Simcoe Startup, UPlift Black, Georgian Changemaker et al, and a mother of two handsome boys, Akeem and Joshua.


Roy (D’Jango) McRae

Steel Pan Performer

Read more about Roy

A two time Caribbean Music and Entertainment Award Winner, Roy (D’Jango) McRae, was born in Guyana into a musical family. His father is a percussion player, his mother is a gospel singer, his siblings ad cousins are musicians and lastly, his Uncles are all Steel Pan Artists, player, makers, tuners and arrangers. Having been surrounded by musical inspirations, it’s no surprise that by the tender age of five, D’Jango started to play the Tenor Pan in one of Guyana’s most popular band, Guynec Superstars, headed by Uncle Washi, for the next eight years.

When he’s not in the studio, D’Jango is performing, conducting workshops or providing both private and group Steel pan music lessons.

Sean George

Artist | Art Educator | Cultural Worker

Read more about Sean George

Sean George is an artist, art educator, and cultural worker. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in Trinidad and Tobago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and Barrie. He presently divides his time between the semi-rural community of Long Sault,ON, and Barrie, ON.

He is interested in the intersection between community, art, identity, and transformation. He believes culture can raise awareness of most topics, whilst it can be alienating. In the pursuit of art, George harnesses community dialogue, research, experience, and aesthetics, to create work that enables him to build his understanding of the world he inhabits.

George is a multi-disciplinary artist, he utilizes photography, writing, installation, drawing, and performance. He uses the media that speak to the overall theme of his artwork. George’s work challenges the status quo, whilst aligning with the elements of art and design.

Stories of Colour

Community Group and Partner

Read more about Stories of Colour

Stories of Colour features children’s books written by authors of colour, or whose central character is a person of colour. Please understand that it is of the utmost importance for children to not only see themselves being represented in the stories, but also by the individuals telling the stories. To become a reader, please send inquiries to:

UPlift Black

Community Group and Partner

Read more about UPlift Black

UPlift Black is a social service agency working to UPlift the complete wellbeing of Black people who live in Simcoe Muskoka. Their work is culturally based and anchored in 2SLGBTQPNIA+ inclusivity striving to achieve the ultimate goal of racial equity through a conscious community.