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President Brown standing at podium smiling

Your Federation: Spring 2024

ETFO Voice

Representative Council Feb. 2024

President Karen Brown welcomed delegates to February Representative Council. Acknowledging Black History Month, she said “We start another Black History Month in a moment where we face gains that have been rolled back. Universities in the United States have had affirmative action policies torn down by the Supreme Court. Black academics and leaders are facing witch hunts and being forced to resign from their hard-won positions. While we take stock of ongoing struggles, we can also celebrate Black Joy.” She highlighted ETFO’s 2024 Black History Month poster (available to members at, saying “Our poster this year captures the demeanor and beauty within the visual, reflecting Black communities locally, provincially, nationally and across the world.”

Guest speaker, artist and Order of Canada recipient Robert Small addressed delegates, reflecting on 30 years of creating the “Legacy” posters, which highlight the work and contributions of Black Canadians. Small spoke about the power of images and of telling your own story by your own hand. “We always talk about racism and anti-racism,” he said, “but we don’t talk a lot about the unconscious message we get from images.” He stressed the importance not only of representation, but of self-representation and reminded delegates that images inform what children see as possible for themselves.

Marking Earth Day 2024

Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behaviour and create global, national and local policy changes.

Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the effects of climate change become more and more apparent every day. Read more at

2024 Black History Month Poster and Curriculum Activities

The 2024 ETFO Black History Month poster is a transgenerational representation of the strength and style of Blackness. The accessories that both young people are wearing include a variety of symbols from across the African diaspora, past, present, and future, highlighting African Canadian contributions. Black joy is captured in the demeanor and beauty within this visual that is reflected in the Black community locally, provincially, nationally and across the world.

There are a variety of ways that educators can use this poster to enhance their classroom activities and school-wide engagement. These include announcements, open-ended questions by division, potential assignments and curriculum expectations. These can be used throughout the school year, not only in February. Make sure you check out all of the available resources at

April 10, 2024, International Day of Pink

The Day of Pink was started in Nova Scotia in 2007 when two Grade 12 students saw a Grade 9 student who was wearing a pink shirt being bullied on the first day of school. Bullies harassed the boy for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up. The two Grade 12 students – David Shepherd and Travis Price – bought and distributed 50 pink shirts and encouraged peers to arrive at school wearing pink. The result was that the school took a stand and began working together to prevent bullying.

Check out the tools and resources available for celebrating the Day of Pink at

ETFO Scholarships and Bursaries

The ETFO Scholarships and Bursaries Program offers funding to members and non-members entering faculties of education, members studying at the graduate level and members upgrading their qualifications at publicly-funded universities/ institutions in Ontario. This includes bursaries for members of designated groups, including Black and Indigenous educators, and bursaries for children of ETFO members. The application period opens in January and ends April 30 each year. Scholarship and bursary applications, including criteria, are posted under each category during this period. See available scholarships and bursaries at