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Trailblazer Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard inspires students to create change

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It was a special day for students in Barrie as Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard of Nova Scotia spoke about the importance of Black history and the contributions of Black people in Canada and around the world.

Senator Bernard, a trailblazer and advocate for social change, spent the day at Bear Creek Secondary School, speaking with parents about generational barriers and inspiring Grade 10 students.

As the first Black Canadian to be a full-time professor at Dalhousie University, Senator Bernard has paved the way for future generations.

The Bear Creek Black Excellence Club is just one example of the positive changes occurring across the region. The club was created to celebrate Black excellence.

"We've never done anything like this before, so I feel like it's really good so that people can learn more about Black lives even if they've never actually gotten the chance to," said student and Bear Creek Black Club Excellence vice-president Jessica Avonyo.

Naesiah Shannon, the club's president, noted that the demographic is changing, with more people of different nations and ethnic backgrounds.

"So they've learned and changed and adapted to new perspectives," Shannon said.

Senator Bernard's message to those in attendance at the Barrie school Tuesday was clear: even small actions can have huge impacts.

"Everybody is critical, including young people," Senator Bernard said. "One of the things I was really trying to get across today to the young people was that you have a voice, you have a place in this work, you can bring about change," she said.

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