Diversity Team

Diversity Team

All students should feel that they belong in school—accepted, safe, and valued—so they can best learn and succeed. 

The work of all HRCE teachers, administrators and support staff is anchored in Nova Scotia’s Inclusive Education Policy

Inclusive education is a commitment to ensuring a high-quality, culturally and linguistically responsive and equitable education for all students. It centers around supporting the well-being and achievement of every student in our schools.

HRCE’s Diversity Team provides leadership to staff and schools on the matters of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Diversity, Inclusion, Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights (RCH) Education for Reconciliation. The team works to build understanding and capacity in staff to support all children in HRCE schools.
 

Meet the Diversity Team

The Regional Coordinator of African Canadian Education Services is a member of HRCE’s Senior Staff and provides advice to regional leaders on matters that pertain to the academic achievement and well-being of students of African ancestry in HRCE schools.

Contact the Regional Coordinator of African Canadian Education Services:

Shawn Grouse

The Regional Coordinator of Mi’kmaw Education Services is a member of HRCE’s Senior Staff and provides advice to regional leaders on matters that pertain to the academic achievement and well-being of students of Mi’kmaq/Indigenous ancestry in HRCE schools.

The role of the Coordinator is to support the implementation of Treaty Education, and provide leadership to the Mi’kmaw Indigenous Student Support Worker Program.

Contact the Regional Coordinator of Mi’kmaw Education Services:

Arlea Walsh

The three Facilitators of African Canadian Education Services (FACES) support the identification of systemically racist and/or discriminatory practices that have led to the disproportionate placement of students of African Ancestry on Individualized Program Plans (IPP), and the underrepresentation of learners of African Ancestry in Mathematics 10, academic core courses, as well as higher level secondary courses. The Facilitator’s role is to:

  • Provide support at a regional level to disrupt and interrupt systemic racism in the education system
  • Promote inclusive and equitable systemic change; partner with families and community enhancing cultural safety and academic success for learners of African ancestry
  • Provide leadership to the African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker Program.


Contact the Facilitators, African Canadian Education Services:

Darcel Williams Hart
Rachel Ross
Frances Waterman-O’Connell

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) Specialists work with school-based administrators and teachers in supporting the regional priority of improving academic achievement for African Nova Scotian students and students of Indigenous ancestry. Working collaboratively with the HRCE Diversity team, the CRP Specialists demonstrate a strong commitment to student success planning in support of student learning and well-being. The CRP Specialist's role is to:

  • Provide leadership, support and expertise to school staff in support of culturally relevant pedagogy and cultural proficiency
  • Model, teach, plan and co-plan culturally relevant lessons for students with teachers
  • Support principals in ensuring that teaching and support staff develop effective strategies to ensure participation and success of African Nova Scotian students and students of Indigenous ancestry in the Public-School Program and curricula.

Contact HRCE’s Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Specialists:
Ian Cowan
Amanda Maher 

HRCE’s Equity Consultant provides leadership and support to school-based administrators and teachers around issues of Race Relations, Inclusive Cultural Spaces/School Climate, Advocacy for Human Rights, Professional Development, and Equity Teams. 

Contact HRCE’s Equity Consultant:
Otis Daye

The African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker Program provides in-school support for African Nova Scotian learners to ensure improved achievement and a positive school experience. Student Support Workers provide supports that align with the Inclusive Education Policy. School-based programming provides valuable opportunities for students of African ancestry to build supportive relationships, cultural awareness and increased self-esteem towards learning, academic achievement, and student well-being. 

If you have questions about the African Nova Scotian Student Support Worker Program, contact your school principal.

The Mi’kmaw/Indigenous Student Support Worker provides in-school support for Mi’kmaw and other Indigenous students to ensure improved achievement and a positive school experience. Student Support Workers provide supports that align with the Inclusive Education Policy. School-based programming provides valuable opportunities for Mi’kmaw and other Indigenous students to build supportive relationships, cultural awareness and increased self-esteem towards learning, academic achievement, and student well-being. 

If you have questions about the Mi’kmaw/Indigenous Student Support Worker Program, contact your school principal.

More Information

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) as conceptualized by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, is the framework that the HRCE is intentionally employing to promote the increased achievement of learners of African ancestry. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy “not only addresses student achievement but also helps students to accept and affirm their cultural identity while developing critical perspectives that challenge inequalities that schools (and other institutions) perpetuate” (Ladson-Billings, 1995, p.469).

This framework is instrumental in both highlighting the systemic causes of underachievement for students of African ancestry (i.e., racism, deficit belief systems of oppression) and the necessary changes needed for schools to create school cultures which produce successfully achieving learners of African ancestry. Culturally relevant pedagogy asserts that the achievement and well-being of learners of African ancestry is non-negotiable. Student achievement must be expected with learning experiences designed to evoke and bridge the students’ knowledge with curriculum content. By adopting a culturally relevant pedagogy, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education continues to affirm that the heritage, identities, and experiences of African Nova Scotian learners are vital to the achievement equation. As such, educational experiences must ensure that learners of African ancestry develop and maintain students’ cultural competence. Finally, culturally relevant pedagogy recognizes that schools exist within a socio-economic and political context. Education must therefore prepare learners of African ancestry to be critical agents in transforming schools and their world.

Self-identification is important to our school system and to our students. It is essential to know who our students are and which communities we serve. It helps us to understand how our demographics are changing and how best to support our students and schools. We encourage all families and students to identify their Ancestry and Aboriginal Identity.