Waterloo Region Catholic schools are hoping to teach Black history beyond February when they roll out a new curriculum later this month.
"You'd think that Black history is automatically involved in the curriculum," said Kedeera Graham, a grade nine student at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School. "But it's not.
"Students need to get involved with the culture, legacy, achievements, knowledge, and contributions."
Graham and Jadiah McPherson, another grade nine student, say they don't often see themselves in the lessons.
"We need to be involved and more recognized," said McPherson.
My Place in History: A Black Heritage Curriculum is being developed by Waterloo Region Catholic school teacher Lorraine Harris and will begin being taught later in February.
"It builds pride and self-esteem," she said. "Their story and their heritage is being unfolded and uplifted in the classroom."
The first unit takes a focus on great African kings and queens before the slave trade and the wealth, power, and impact on civilization these ancestors had.
The curriculum was created in conjunction with the Guelph Black Heritage Society.
"This shows them our rich past and that they can dream and aspire to be anything they want in the future," said Denise Francis, the society's president. "It's not something to be confined to 28 days."