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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
DBEN Reminds Students to Strive Regardless of Challenges


This year's Durham Black Educators' Network's 4th annual Activating Student Success Awards was held on May 5th and was well received.

The awards seek to recognize students in Durham's Black diaspora, who demonstrate leadership while maintaining strong academic performance. Over the past four years, 72 students have been nominated and 24 have been formally recognized by DBEN. 


The Activating Student Success Awards is a time for student celebration and encouragement. DBEN members take the time to empower youth to strive for their dreams.

This year's keynote speaker, Vidal Chavannes, shared a motivating message telling youth to "Wrap themselves in the knowledge of their history. As descendants of kings and queens, armour yourself against the negative media images." Recipients were reminded to strive, in spite of a system that may not believe in them. 

Dr. Philip Howard, Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, was honoured as DBEN's founding educator.  Philip's history as an educator in at the DDSB was shared.  He was involved in developing the first black history curriculum delivered in the DDSB. 

With more than 160 DDSB staff, students and community​ members present, the 2016 DBEN Activating Students Awards night was another successful event.​ 

ent p​hotos can be found on the DDSB's Facebook page. 



This year's DBEN Activating Student Success winners (l to r)

Tiron James, Ajax High School; Melanie Manning, Ajax High School; Taylor Amos, Michaele Jean PS; Misha- Louise Gilchrist, Anderson High School; and Gevanni Modeste, Ajax High School celebrated their successes, and received awards at the recent DBEN awards night.



Durham District School Board
400 Taunton Road East,
Whitby, ON
L1R 2K6 Canada

Phone: 905-666-5500
Fax: 905-666-6474
Toll Free: 1-800-265-3968
TTY 905-666-6943, 877-868-5575
© Durham District School Board, 2013