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The Council on African Canadian Education helps ensure the voices of African Nova Scotian students and their families are heard and reflected in the public education system.

To support its work, government has appointed nine members to the council, bringing the number of members to 14.

“These nine individuals are all well-respected in their communities and will add valuable voices to the work being done to address inequalities in our education system,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “The educational success of African Nova Scotian students is an important priority and I look forward to continuing our work with the council to ensure our African Nova Scotian learners are supported.”

The following people have been appointed or reappointed to the council:

  • Darlene Upshaw-Tynes, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Shaniqwa Thomas, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Anthony Riley, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Charmaine Willis, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Kimberly King-MacDonald, Glace Bay
  • Glenda Talbot-Richards, Colchester County
  • William Crawford, Yarmouth County
  • Gerry Clarke, Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Lindell Smith, Halifax Regional Municipality

The Council on African Canadian Education is mandated by the Education Act. Its members make recommendations to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development on programs and services in public schools and adult education.

At least four seats on the council are for at-large members from the African Nova Scotia community. Four seats are reserved for provincial groups, such as the African United Baptist Association, the Black Educators Association and the Black Cultural Society. Seven seats are reserved for regional representatives.

The appointments were approved today by the Standing Committee on Human Resources and will be finalized shortly.

Quick Facts:

  • the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has an African Canadian Services branch that works to address systemic racism and focuses on ensuring Black students and their families are reflected in the curriculum
  • Nova Scotia’s Inclusive Education Policy reinforces the importance of culturally responsive teaching practices to help overcome barriers to student learning success
  • training is offered to teachers and support staff to provide them with the culturally responsive teaching strategies needed to engage and support our diverse student population. More than 14,000 staff have completed the training
  • to support the Inclusive Education Policy, the department committed an additional $468,000 each year to increase the number of African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw student support workers. There are now 68 African Nova Scotia student support workers in schools across the province
  • the culture and history of African Nova Scotians is embedded in curriculum outcomes for grades primary through to high school, particularly in social studies and visual arts
  • the Council on African Canadian Education is one of several advisory groups to the minister, including the Council for Mi’kmaq Education

Additional Resources:

For more information on the Council of African Canadian Education, visit


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