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Learn about our dynamic And Still We Rise (ASWR) elementary and secondary programs and our tutoring program


ASWR Elementary Edition focuses on storytelling, finding your voice, leadership and self confidence  


ASWR Secondary focuses on the topics of anti-racism, leadership, self awareness and confidence

Tutoring services for Black DDSB students Gr. 6-12

Elevate +

Support Black students in building strong and confident leadership skills that will ensure their success throughout high school

the blueprint

“…Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope…” – Maya Angelou



aswr elementary EDITION conference

DBEN has a mandate of optimizing the educational experiences of students, parents and educators focusing on implementing leadership and curriculum development initiatives. This annual conference reaches out to all students, families and allies of the Black diaspora within the district. 

ASWR Elementary 2

ASWR Elementary 2

ASWR Elementary 4

ASWR Elementary 4

ASWR Elementary 7

ASWR Elementary 7

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aswr elementary ambassadoR leadership program

The Elementary Ambassadors’ Leadership Program is a leadership opportunity that culminates with Student Ambassadors leading workshops at the annual ASWR Elementary Edition Conference.

Ambassadors hone their leadership and teambuilding while being introduced to discussion of equity, diversity  and social justice. 

ASWR Afrocentric Heritage Program

The And Still We Rise – Afrocentric Heritage Program for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, represents an exciting new chapter for Durham Black Educators’ Network.  Parents have openly approached our network throughout the years for this necessary programming and we are elated to respond and bring this program to fruition.  Students connect each week in an environment that centers their Black identity, supports creativity and intellectual greatness, while amplifying their leadership development.. 

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aswr secondary conference

A signature event, The Durham Black Educators' Network (DBEN) creates an impactful experience each spring.  Supported by the Durham District School Board (DDSB), this annual initiative focuses on providing high school students representing Durham’s Black Diaspora, and educators with Social Justice frameworks for creating positive social change in our schools and community.

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We are seeking nominations And Still We
DBEN And Still We Rise 2020 Poster[7342]
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aswr ambassadoR leadership program

In recognition of the leadership skills and potential of our youth, we mentor students in Grades 9 – 12, activating their contributions to supporting positive social change in their schools and community


This annual program is open to Durham District School Board students representing the Black Diaspora in Durham Region, and allies.

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elevate & expand

Elevate & expand: coaching for excellence

This program provides culturally responsive Virtual Tutoring Support for DDSB self-identifying Black students in Gr. 6-12. 

Students are matched with tutors based on their needs and tutor teaching qualifications and are provided with up to 3 hours of virtual tutoring per week.

For more information contact:

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the Blueprint Project

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The blueprint project: framing your future success


    Our goal is to support Black students in building strong and confident leadership skills that will ensure their success throughout high school. Students will be provided with a toolkit of skills and resources that will empower them to take ownership of their transition and next steps. Students will leave the program with their own personalized “ingredients” necessary to be successful.


Program Overview: 

    This is a culturally responsive approach focused on engaging in authentic conversations about navigating the high school experience. This program begins from the knowledge and understanding that Black identity is at the centre of learning and that their Blackness is important to their overall engagement and success.


Student Criteria:

  • Students who self-identify as Black

  • June 2022 Grade 8 graduates from DDSB

  • Youth who are interested in courses and activities that will support their strengths and interests

  • Students who are open to supplemental support

  • Students who have demonstrated leadership skills 

  • Students who need skills for navigating educator feedback and social interactions

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