Diverse Voices Unite

Diverse Voices Unite
Posted on 02/12/2021
Promo PosterIt’s a passion that was ignited many years ago for Manon Heran, a teacher at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie, who has organized initiatives for Black History Month at the school for fourteen years.

Her latest project, called “Diverse Voices Unite,” honours and celebrates the lives of Black Canadians. The event will bring together prominent guest speakers, local dignitaries, performing artists, community partners, and social justice committee students from St. Peter’s, in pre-recorded video clips, that will be combined and released in a 90 minute YouTube event on February 15 at 10 a.m.

The video will also air on Rogers TV on February 24 at 6 p.m. followed by a live Q/A with guest speakers. The audience can submit their questions in advance by email or ask them live on the Rogers Facebook Page.

Ms. Heran says it’s been an honour to facilitate so many courageous conversations over the years. “It’s important to look at our similarities and not our differences. If we can do that as individuals, then we can do that as a community.”

Viewers of the video can expect discussions that reflect on the past, present, and future of Canadian Black history. “There is a readiness now, like never before, to embrace changes that will mean greater diversity and acceptance. People are willing to dig deeper and there is a synchronicity that is bringing people together that may have worked previously in isolation,” says Ms. Heran.

As with any venture of this magnitude, lots of hands, hearts, and minds have made this project a reality. Melissa Oliver, St. Peter’s Information and Communications Technology Chairperson, created the promotional poster for the event and had the mammoth task of compiling all of the video submissions into the final product.

We’d like to thank Manon, Melissa and the following for helping bring this project to fruition:

-The City of Barrie, Amanda Dyke and Stephannie Schlichter;
-Rogers TV, Ron Clark and Kevin Kelly;
-SMCDSB, Mirella Rossi, Superintendent of Student Achievement and the Equity/Inclusion Committee;
-St. Peter's CSS, staff and students for their contributions;
-All of the community members who contributed their faith, ideas, talents, and time.