Tuesday 18 August 2020


Hello, IRC Families!

We hope you are enjoying these last weeks of summer.  

We know there are many details yet to be determined for the upcoming school year. Participation in IRC Family Council is arguably more important than ever.  

The term for the current Family Council Officers, Voting Members and Chairpersons ends September 30, 2020.   Election information will follow in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, we thought we would outline the various roles and committees in the hopes of inspiring you to take part.  Please see attached and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.  

Please note that these are the committees, events and roles that typically take place and are, of course, subject to review given the circumstances and the priorities of the incoming 2020/2021 Family Council.  

Thank you. 
-IRC Family Council 


Tuesday 23 June 2020


Hello IRC families

To view the IRC Family Council Minutes from our last virtual meeting via Google Meet please click here.

Have a safe and happy summer!

IRC Family Council

Saturday 29 February 2020


In the final week of Black History Month, the IRC Equity Committee will be sharing books, films, podcasts, and other resources that you and your family can explore to learn more about Black History throughout the year and to help kick start meaningful conversations about race and diversity. 

Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians. It was first commemorated in the USA, but it is just as important here in Canada. The spotlight has grown to include Black Futures Month; an opportunity to envision a more just and equitable future. This year’s Black History Month theme is: “Canadians of African Descent: Going Forward, Guided by the Past.”

Here are some children’s books we recommend that you can find at your favourite local, independent bookstore or at the Toronto Public Library.

Parents for Diversity is an Ontario-based collective of parents committed to achieving inclusive and non-discriminatory learning environments that allow children to fulfil their true potential in this world. The group has compiled a list of children’s books. Here are some of our favourites:

From Toronto Public Library’s list for children, here are some standouts to add to your hold list!


Plus, two more not-to-miss titles that didn’t make it onto the above lists:

Did you know?

Kareem Abdul JabbarTa-Nehisi CoatesCongressman John Lewis , and the children of Bob MarleyMartin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X have all authored children’s books?!

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
These short stories are weaved together to tell the experience of a young woman growing up in Toronto and caught in the middle of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a ‘true’ Jamaican)

They Call Me George: the Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada by Cecil Foster
“A historical work of non-fiction that chronicles the little-known stories of black railway porters—the so-called "Pullmen" of the Canadian rail lines. The actions and spirit of these men helped define Canada as a nation in surprising ways, affecting race relations, human rights, North American multiculturalism, community building, the shape and structure of unions, and the nature of travel and business across the US and Canada.”

“In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history.”

Here are some other great titles to add to your hold list or pick up from the local independent bookstore:

“…a bracing, provocative and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada's most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole”

Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson, Syrus Marcus Ware
Until We Are Free contains some of the very best writing on the hottest issues facing the Black community in Canada. It describes the latest developments in Canadian Black activism, organizing efforts through the use of social media, Black-Indigenous alliances, and more.”

The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal by Afua Cooper
“Writer, historian and poet Afua Cooper tells the astonishing story of Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave woman convicted of starting a fire that destroyed a large part of Montréal in April 1734 and condemned to die a brutal death. In a powerful retelling of Angélique’s story—now supported by archival illustrations—Cooper builds on 15 years of research to shed new light on a rebellious Portuguese-born black woman who refused to accept her indentured servitude. At the same time, Cooper completely demolishes the myth of a benign, slave-free Canada, revealing a damning 200-year-old record of legally and culturally endorsed slavery.”

“The selected articles have, for the most part, never been surpassed by more recent research and offer a wealth of data on slavery, abolition, the Underground Railroad, and more, providing unique insights into the abundance of African-Canadian heritage in Ontario.”

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
In this novel, “The rich and the privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways—farming, barter, herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother. She must bargain with gods, and give birth to new legends.”

Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good
Ancestor by Layla Saad, Robin DiAngelo
“Updated and expanded from the original edition, Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too."

“…offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.”

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
“A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document.”

Still looking for more? 

A special note that A Different Booklist (779 Bathurst Street) is an independent bookstore specializing in books by and about people from the African-Canadian mosaic. One of the owners is a children’s book author! They are offering 20% off their classics and biographies for the month of February — definitely a good time to check out this Toronto gem!


Black History Month always brings a wealth of events throughout the city to celebrate and explore Black Canadian heritage. From free events at various Toronto Public Library locations to the Toronto Black Film Festival, there are dozens of events for every age group. 

This is not an exhaustive list — if you know of others please hop onto the IRC Facebook page to share your suggestions!

Free Events

Open until March 20: Documenting Black Families – photographs documenting the everyday lives of Black families who migrated across southern Ontario. B.A.N.D gallery.

Open until March 28: 143 (I Love You) – photograph and illustration exhibit exploring Black love, from the familial to the romantic. Union Station.

Paid Events

Open Until February 29: Kuumba 25 – Toronto’s longest-running Black History Month festival. Harbourfront Centre.

The City of Toronto has an extensive list of events for the month of February. A standout suggestion from this list is Mackenzie House, celebrating Black Canadians including Mary Ann Shadd Cary.  In addition to being an educator and an activist, Ms. Shadd Cary was Canada’s first Black female newspaper publisher. Open Until March 1.

Places to visit outside of Toronto (year-round):

Buxton Museum - Chatham, ON
Amherstburg Freedom Museum - Amherstburg, ON
Grey Roots Museum - Georgian Bluffs, ON

Wednesday 12 February 2020


Good evening, IRC families.

As per the direction of TDSB, we will not be able to host Family Council events at school for the duration of the labour disruption.  This means that our next Movie Night, scheduled for February 20th, must be cancelled.
We will keep you posted on any opportunity to reschedule this event for the future.

Thank you,
-IRC Family Council