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" The purpose of the GBHS is to preserve the BME Church on Essex St which was built by former slaves who arrived in the area via Underground Railroad. "

Guelph Black Heritage Society
83 Essex St, Guelph, ON, N1H 3K9
Tel: (519) 837-2519

1004 - 2/3/2021 12:48:30 PM  

My Place In This World: A Black Heritage Curriculum Announced

For Immediate Release - February 3, 2021

The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is pleased to announce the release of the My Place In This World: A Black Heritage Curriculum ©.  

It has been customary in our school system to address what has been labeled as “Black History” as merely about the “slavery experiences” of Black people.  In an effort to change this “narrative,” the Guelph Black Heritage Society has joined a vision presented by Lorraine Harris to build a curriculum that focuses on the positive aspects of Black life and culture.  Lorraine Harris, is a Black educator from the Waterloo Region who has 20+ years of experience.  She holds degrees in education, music and psychology and has received many prestigious awards in her field.
In Unit 1, Great African Kings and Queens, Lorraine leads a journey back to pre-colonial times and we celebrate the magnificence of the Black community by studying African Kings and Queens.   Unit 1 consists of three  placemats which includes a variety of activities that align with Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations.  Placemats 1, 2 and 3 are for Grades 1-3, 4-8 and 9-12, respectively.
My Place in This World is sure to change the student mindset, which inevitably leads to changed minds,” says Lorraine Harris.  “We are changing the focus for this generation of young people struggling with issues of identity, a sense of belonging and mental health.”
“Black history should be taught in schools year-round, not just in February. We hope that with the introduction of this exciting new curriculum which highlights positive aspects of Black history, Black students will be empowered” says GBHS President Denise Francis.  
For more information about this about My Place In This World and to request a media kit please contact

During Black “Heritage” Month 2021, the GBHS will feature its #ChangeStartsNow initiative, providing virtual educational programming on Black heritage and culture as well as relevant resources on diversity, discrimination and anti-racism. The GBHS calls on the community to honour our past, celebrate today, and look toward the future.  For information on free educational programming in February, go to
Connect. Learn. Grow.  #ChangeStartsNow.

The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) is a registered charity. Registration # 80158 3907 RR0001. Tax receipts issued for donations greater than $25. 
Donations can be made online at


The Guelph BME (British Methodist Episcopal) Church has stood at 83 Essex Street since 1880. The Guelph BME was built by former fugitive slaves who arrived in the area via the Underground Railroad.

The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) was formed after the BME Church was listed for sale in November 2011. The purpose of the GBHS is to preserve the historical significance of the BME Church by creating a cultural, historical and social centre within Guelph and Wellington County. The GBHS’s offer to purchase the BME Church was accepted and the sale was finalized in December 2012.
The Guelph BME Church building has been renamed Heritage Hall.


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