Janine, a girl in Grade 11 who is black, has not learned about any successful, black, female leaders in her world history class. She has learned in her school books that the people who have played an important role in creating history are white men of European origin. Her friends keep telling her studying is “for white kids”. She is beginning to lose interest in school and is thinking of dropping out.
Janine’s teacher has just finished a section about the American civil rights movement in the 60’s. She spent a whole class talking about the different black leaders who played a key role in bringing about change during this period of American history. She then asked all the students in their class to do a project about black Canadian leaders in the movement for human rights in Canada. Janine has devoted hours to her project and read everything she could find on the internet. She is fascinated by what she is reading about black women who were leaders in Canada. She has never felt so excited about a school project. She is beginning to think about taking an elective class on international politics next term.