BCSSA Virtual Professional Learning Session – Anti-Racism


hosted by Beth Applewhite and Kenneth Headley

September 21st, from 8:00 - 9:00am Online via Zoom

Beth Applewhite (she/her) is the District Principal of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with the Burnaby School District that is on the traditional and unceded Coast Salish lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (TsleilWaututh) people. She is a bi-racial Black educator of Trinidadian and Scottish heritages. Beth knows most of her joys and opportunities rest on the backs and shoulders of her Afro-Caribbean Ancestors, so she walks in their legacy and truth every day. Her career spans 27 years, with 14 years as a classroom Teacher and 10 years as a school-based Administrator. She actively works toward transformative change in the K-12 system using Equity, Anti-Racism and Indigenous lenses.

Beth is committed to using her privilege to help improve the education system. She knows the B.C. K – 12 Education System context well as she has lived experience as a B.C. student, Teacher Candidate, Teacher, Parent, school-based Vice Principal and District Principal. She believes it best to call folks in and hold an accountable space for them to reflect, learn, unlearn and grow. Beginning her Anti-Racism journey in 2006, Beth has much experience uplifting marginalized voices and disrupting the status quo at both District and Provincial tables. Her professional development work with Staffs, School Administrators, District Leaders and Trustees as well as Universities, Community/Cultural Organizations, Private Sector Organizations, and the RCMP has made her one of the leading educators guiding Anti-Racism work in British Columbia.

Beth does not believe the system is broken. She encourages educators to learn the truth about how our systemically racist education system was consciously and intentionally designed this way. Her work includes inviting educators to unpack their own biased assumptions and beliefs. She advocates for the removal of the barriers to accessing educational services and opportunities. Beth grounds herself in hope and embraces her ancestors’ teaching that joy is an act of resistance. She finds her joy in family, community and the Arts. She especially enjoys initiatives that identify cross-cultural connections and celebrate intersecting identities because such celebrations fuel emotional responses that create momentum and renew energy for change. Beth believes that through joy we nurture hope and reaffirm our humanity.


Kenneth Headley (He/Him) is the District Vice Principal for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-racism in the New Westminster School District- the unceded and traditional Territory of the Qayqayt First Nation and other Coast Salish Peoples who have had a relationship with the land since time immemorial.  Kenneth has been an educator in the BC Public School System for over 15 years.  He began his teaching Career in Surrey focusing on Physical Health Education, Social Justice and Leadership development of his Students.  After 9 years of teaching, he  became a Vice Principal in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Schools District and was also the District Vice Principal of Racial Inclusivity and Equity.  Kenneth is the Vice President for BCBELA (British Columbia’s Black Educational Leaders Association) and a member of the BCPVPA Anti Racism Committee.  Kenneth has presented on topics of Racial Equity and Anti-racism across the province for District Leaders, School Based Leaders, School based staff, Universities, Private and Corporate organizations.  Kenneth believes we need to approach this work with humility, hope, joy and love through connection and care for each other.  Relational accountability, vulnerability and transparency are vital to developing trust and restoring a sense of belonging with school communities. Kenneth believes that this work is hard work because it is the “heart work”. Removing barriers and systems of oppressions should be joyous as it helps us rebuild humanity and dignity for all.


Using a racial equity and antiracism lenses, the following will be explored:

  • Building and Sustaining a racial and cultural safety. “You don't know what we don’t know”.-- Remaining curious about our biases and blind spots.
  • Encouraging District and School leaders to co create high-expectations relationships with humility.

Beth and Ken will provide participants an opportunity to participate in thoughtful discussion.

There is no charge for this session but you must register* in order to get the zoom link.

*BCSSA members only