An Alberta teacher who co‐founded the province’s first Black Teachers Association has become the new Educator in Residence with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).
Sarah Adomako‐Ansah will share her passion for diversity, representation and technology to create CMHR programs and resources for students and educators that focus on combatting racism. She will work from Edmonton, taking advantage of online opportunities to engage with teachers and classrooms across the country.
“My goal is to amplify the voices of those who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour from across Canada,” she said. “Growing up, I did not have any Black teachers, which is part of the reason I became an educator. I wanted to affirm the identities of all my students, but I especially wanted young Black girls to see a teacher who looks like them.”
The Museum’s Educator‐in‐Residence program began in 2017 to foster and support the development of human rights education programs for youth learners, both on site and online.
In addition to teaching at St. Pius X elementary school in Edmonton, Adomako‐Ansah has been working as a tutor with the Council for Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage. In June 2020, she co‐founded the Black Teachers Association of Alberta which has grown from two members to now include 75 Black educators and hundreds of allies, with thousands of social media connections, professional development sessions, speakers, podcasts, videos and features – including “Melanin Mondays,” profiling a different racialized teacher each week.
For the Museum, Adomako‐Ansah plans to use her enthusiasm for technology to develop new ways to interest students in human rights learning, provide teachers with resources, and enhance class field trips (whether conducted on site or virtually). During the COVID‐19 pandemic, huge demand emerged for the Museum’s virtual field trips, where an interpretive guide takes remote classes through the galleries in real time, with interactive opportunities based on different human rights themes.
More than 17,000 students participated during the 2020–21 school year — including over 8,000 students from Alberta, the highest number of any province. Virtual field trips will continue to be exclusively offered as the new school year begins until educators decide when safety and comfort levels can allow resumption of on‐site class visits.
The Museum is also in the process of building a Canadian Teachers’ Advisory Circle to ensure the development of content relevant to educators across the nation. Membership will reflect the diversity of people living in Canada and bring provincial and regional representation to the ongoing work of the CMHR.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, the CMHR creates inspiring encounters with human rights for all ages, in a visitor experience unlike any other.