Nouvelles du CIUSSS

Black History Month in the Words of Our Staff

Every year the month of February is an opportunity to acknowledge and promote the contributions that have been made by Black communities. The staff of our CIUSSS is made up of members from many of these communities. We asked them to briefly share with us what this month means to them.


1. Black History Month, for me, acknowledges the journey of an extremely resilient people through time. It awakens the world to the undeniable contribution they have made to building the society we live in today.  

Gina Adolphe, Occupational Therapist, Ste. Anne’s Hospital, Multidisciplinary Services Directorate


2. I feel that Black History Month is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the impact people of African heritage have made around the world. It’s a time to share, to learn, and to appreciate the rich culture and vital contributions the Black community has made to our society and to the world. It’s also a time to reflect on the importance of equality, justice, and solidarity in building a better future and a better world for us all.

Vladimir Osias, Department Manager, Security and Emergency Measures


3. For me Black History Month is a time to highlight and celebrate Black people who have made their mark on history; individuals who have paved the way for me to be able to work in the career of my choice and become, in turn, a role model of accomplishment and excellence.

Rachelle Philippeau, Nurse Clinician, Postpartum Unit, St. Mary’s Hospital Centre, Nursing Directorate


4. To me, Black History Month commemorates the involuntary scattering of the Black people around the globe, and the pride they share in being present in all places and all spheres of life. Pride in who we are! Just one month is not enough to share the contributions Black people have made to development around the world.

Marina Tcheuleu Kameni, Administrative Technician, Communications, Public Relations, and Legal Affairs Directorate


5. Black History Month signifies a legacy of excellence, perseverance, courage and hope. As we sit on the shoulders of those who paved the way for so many, we honour them by daring the impossible, breaking glass ceilings, while living authentically with grace and acceptance. Black history is Love.

Beverley-Tracey John, Director of Nursing


6. Black History Month is a time of remembering, learning, and caring.

Gregg Freeman, Department Manager—Network Management, Digital Health, Information Resources, and Biomedical Engineering Directorate


7. Black History Month is for me a reminder that we live in a rich, diverse, and pluralistic society to which we all contribute. It’s a time to celebrate the contributions made by Afro-descendant communities to our national and global heritage. It’s also a time to remember that issues of colour are a challenge that we all share.

Marie-Ange Occelas, Assistant to the Director, Logistics Directorate


8. For me Black History Month is a moment to remember that we need such celebrations every day. Every day we must celebrate what makes us unique and what sets our vision apart. Authenticity, greatness, transparency, reliance, and ambition—these are what define us every day. 

Fabienne Germeil, Associate Director, Nursing—Access to Hospitalization, and Director Responsible for Cancer Care


9. Black History Month, for me, is borne of forgiveness, a desire to progress, a moment of introspection, a thoughtful perspective intended to avoid repeating the history of a people that has been tested and shaken to its roots, and in doing so, build a present and a future in which they are interwoven, fused and connected with every member of their race—that is, the human race.

Joy Theodore, Risk and Quality Management Advisor—Clinical Activities Specialist, Quality, Assessment, Performance and Ethics Directorate


10. The history of Black peoples is filled with tragedies, suffering, and pain. Even now we sometimes face bullying, language, attitudes, aggression, and contempt in our day-to-day lives. Black History Month is, to me, a month during which we highlight on the road we have travelled, our exploits and accomplishments, our beauty and our excellence. I do that as part of my everyday life, but in February I focus on celebrating, sharing and rediscovering the extraordinary people that we are beyond the prejudices.

Marie-Florente Démosthène, Associate Director—Community Health and Partnerships, Multidisciplinary Services Directorate

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