Although Black history in Canada should be considered, discussed and celebrated all year, February is a good time to remind us of the need to reflect on Black history in Canada and how these stories were an integral part of this nation’s growth and development. 

Systems and perceptions still need to be changed, and it’s daunting for activists and allies in this community. There are always glimmers of hope, however, in the hard work that lies ahead. This year’s Black History Month theme is “Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate; a Future to Build.” Here are three Canadians who personify this year’s theme.

R.T. Thorne (RT!)

Randall Thorne began his directing career shooting music videos for Sean Paul and Snoop Dog, moved on to directing episodes of Degrassi and Backstage and has moved into directing award-winning television such as The Porter — a series set in the 1920s based on a true story of Black porters in Montreal and the first Black-led labour movement in Canada. 

Sedina Fiati

Having both Trinidadian and Ghanaian roots, Sedina has consulted for the past twelve years as a facilitator, meeting and panellist moderator and host, specifically in equity, diversity, inclusion, and the arts. She holds a BFA in music theatre from the University of Windsor and has over twenty years of experience as a performer, producer, and director. She’s also the lead producer in the Black Pledge Collective, dismantling anti-Black racism in theatre and live performance. Her many awards include a Canadian Screen Award and Lifetime Membership Award from ACTRA Toronto.

Cameron Davis

Cameron Davis rose to prominence in 2020 after delivering a speech on his experiences as a Black youth during a Black Lives Matter protest. He is known for creating YouTube videos highlighting his experiences travelling, cooking and dealing with racism in Canada. Cameron frequently speaks at local and global events, engaging with students, police, and government officials. He is a youth leader for the Children’s General Assembly, which presents an annual manifesto to the United Nations General Assembly. Currently, Cameron is a student at York University. He co-founded BYR Youth (Black York Region Youth), an organization that advocates for Black youth and promotes allyship and community leadership. In 2023, Cameron Davis delivered a TED talk on how Gen Z can use their voice to bring about change.

These are only three of many young activists leading change in Canada.