As they do every year, the Portage Beaconsfield rehabilitation centre for adolescents celebrated Black History Month during the month of February, with many activities and special guests.
The first guest was Michael Farkas, who spoke to the residents about the history of black people in North America, and specifically in Montréal. Returning to Portage Beaconsfield again this year was Did Tafari Bélizaire, a Canadian of Haitian origin. He visited the centre to speak to the residents about his experiences with compulsive gambling, which lead to an attempted suicide in 2003. Now a paraplegic, he is dedicated to spreading awareness about suicide prevention and the dangers of compulsive gambling. Also returning was Slim Williams, a musician from the United States, who has a past history of substance abuse. The residents were captivated by the presentations and very engaged in the discussions led by these guests.
Residents and staff members also celebrated Black History Month at lunch time every Thursday in February, with music and a Haitian meal cooked by a Portage staff member and a teacher, both of Haitian origin.