Supporting and Representing Black Educators in BC… Where Are We Today?

When: February 17th, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PST

Where: Virtually

As part of the United Nations commitment to the 2015 – 2024 International Decade for People of African Descent, Faculties of Education and School Districts should endeavor to support Black educators and Black student excellence. This commitment is key to the holistic academic success of students. As educators we need to strive to provide conducive working environments, learning experiences, and advancing opportunities. Recruiting, supporting, and retaining Black educators in the teaching profession in BC is also critical. Join us in learning about approaches that will help underscore your commitment to equity and addressing anti-Black racism in education.


Kenneth Headley

Kenneth Headley is a Caribbean/Black school administrator. He has been an educator for over 12 years and an advocate for marginalized students, their families and their communities. Through his long-standing relationship with Beth Applewhite and James Morton, Kenneth has been a part of a team that focuses on providing meaningful opportunities to discuss issues of racial discrimination with students and educators. Since 2016, he has played an integral role in the success of annual Anti-Racism Youth Symposiums and Black History Month Student Conferences. Kenneth completed his Bachelor of General Studies in Canadian studies and sociology at SFU. He completed his B.Ed at SFU as well as his Master’s Degree in Educational Practice, looking at integrating cultural narratives in the classroom. Kenneth has been a moderator on #bcedchat for 5 years moderating conversations on race and curriculum goals for BC Students. Kenneth taught in Surrey for 9 years before becoming a Vice-Principal with the Maple Ridge School District in 2018.



Ramona Cruickshank

Ramona Cruickshank is currently a teacher and coordinator of a District Program in Maple Ridge for students with complex learning needs.  She manages a team of 9 Educational Assistants and works collaboratively with them to support students in developing their voice to better self-advocate and communicate.  Ramona is a UBC alumni with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Education degree.  This is her 15th year of teaching, four of which were spent in First Nations Schools in BC in the roles of a Special Education Teacher, Vice-Principal, Student Services Coordinator & Spoken Language 12 classroom teacher.  In 2016, she completed her Special Education Diploma from Queen’s University. Ramona is biracial, Grenadian, Black, Canadian, phenomenal, leader, founder and former President of the Caribbean & African Association of UBC, Carnival Sensations Caribbean Society and the Vancouver Caribbean Carnival Association.  She is soca – the beat and rhythm of the African drum runs through her veins and she is proud of every attempt to feel free both physically and mentally.

Nikitha Fester

Nikitha Fester is a secondary French immersion teacher and Head of Department in Vancouver School district. She completed her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of British Columbia in 2015. Nikitha also holds a post graduate diploma in special education, is Orton-Gillingham trained and will be starting her Masters in Equity Education at Western University in the fall of 2021. Nikitha has designed and facilitated several district wide professional development sessions on a variety of topics and played an active role in planning the VSB’s first Youth Anti-Racism summit, What’s the move? in February 2020. In addition to working with the Vancouver School Board, Nikitha is the Director of Resource development with I Dream Library. Her work there includes the creation of French and English programming and K-12 lesson and units that are embedded and in line with the new BC curriculum.

Monica Noakes

Monica Noakes is an elementary teacher with the Surrey School District. Monica did her undergraduate studies at SFU and completed it in 2004. Since then she has also completed her MEd at SFU. Over the years Monica has focused her learning and classroom teaching on environmental education, which includes working with the Pembina Foundation to create an environmental education curriculum for elementary students. More recently she has been involved with the Classroom Champions program, partnering with Olympians to work on building students’ character and social and emotional learning.

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