Black Empowerment and Excellence at SAIT (BEES)
The Black Empowerment and Excellence at SAIT (BEES) committee is a voluntary group of Black students, employees and allies who work to support Black people on campus and combat anti-Black racism at SAIT.
- Foster and advance an inclusive campus environment for Black students and employees through mentorship networks as well as educational and career development.
- Support and advocate in ways that address anti-Black racism and enable access to opportunities that enhance life skills for the Black community at SAIT.
“Racism and discrimination have no place here or anywhere. Our commitment at SAIT is that we will continue to listen and every day, aim to do better than the day before — creating a campus that benefits from, and is a benefit to, all people.”
Read our full statement on anti-racism.
Advocacy: Facilitate access to and distribution of ongoing resources that address challenges in the Black community while meeting Black students' and employees' social, emotional, academic and cultural needs.
Empowerment: Offer personal and professional advancement workshops for Black students and employees on an ongoing basis.
Mentorship: Facilitate peer-to-peer and student mentorship opportunities to encourage a supportive network for the Black community at SAIT.
Acknowledge and inspire: Host events that celebrate Black people's historical and present contributions to Canadian culture and society.
Definitions and understanding
Anti-racism: The intentional, reflexive journey to eliminate racism. It acknowledges that:
- racism exists (in modern and traditional forms)
- that all members of society have been socialized to participate in racism
- that all white people benefit from racism (regardless of intentions)
- and that racism must be continually identified, analyzed and challenged.
Ally: An individual who actively uses their privilege to support and advocate for the rights and fair treatment of equity-seeking groups and is not a member of that group. The label of “ally” must be given by the equity-seeking group they seek to support, not by the individual themselves.
Race: A social construct based on geographic, historical, political, economic, social/cultural factors and physical traits which seek to classify groups of people.
Racism: Any individual action or institutional practice that treats people differently because of their skin colour or ethnicity. This distinction is often used to justify discrimination.
Systemic racism: Refers to the ways that whiteness and white superiority become embedded in the policies and processes of an institution, resulting in a system that advantages white people and disadvantages racialized persons.
Calgary Black Chambers
The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has partnered with the Calgary Black Chambers (CBC) to assist with its mission of making the city of Calgary the best place for Black people to live, work and study in Canada.
To foster ongoing collaboration throughout the year, SAIT will host one of the monthly meetings for the CBC on SAIT’s campus. The event aims to foster closer ties between the CBC and SAIT to increase access to and participation in Calgary’s bourgeoning tech industry for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.
Afro-Caribbean Student Club
If you are interested in getting the most out of campus life, and connecting with fellow students, visit Saitsa Clubs to explore student clubs such as the Afro-Caribbean Student Club.
- Positive spaces provide SAIT students with a place to experience diversity, inclusion and feel empowered. Visit or contact Accessibility Services, Learning Skills Services, and Tutoring Services for additional support to help you feel more at home at SAIT.
- Harassment and discrimination hotline: 403.210.4406
- Office of Community Conduct
- Learn about John Ware, the respected cattle rancher honoured through the naming of SAIT’s John Ware building.
- Black Lives Matter YYC
- Scarborough Charter (utoronto.ca)
- TED Talks about racism
Meet the committee and get involved
BEES strives to reflect diverse perspectives and fair, campus-wide representation of the Black community and its allies.
We welcome members and allies of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, religious affiliations, abilities and professional expertise.
After a decade as an instructor, Adrienne is now primarily an Instructional Designer; a position which allows her to spread her passion for inclusive and open applied education across the institution. When she’s not busy flexing her creative problem-solving skills as an ID, Adrienne enjoys hiking, gardening and sailing. Adrienne was born and raised near Africville in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which sparked an early desire to better understand Black Canadian history and culture.
Akuon is a first year Business Administration student, studying in the field of Marketing. Having immigrated to Canada, she has been through the ups and downs of what it’s like to be a newcomer. Now at this stage in her life, she has become involved with BEES to share the many great resources/opportunities SAIT offers the Black\African student and staff population. In her free time, you can catch her binging YouTube videos.
Chimdi is a third-year Business Administration student. As a BEES Student leader, he would like to advocate for the Black/African Students at SAIT regardless of if they are a part of the diaspora or from the continent. With a working background in administration, his goal is to become a professional accountant in Canada and one day own his own business. When he is not working or studying full-time, David spends time watching Nollywood/Hollywood movies, anime and occasionally fantasizing about owning a home close to Mbezi beach in Dar es Salaam or zip lining in Kigali.
Efua is a bubbly individual who is passionate about her job as a transfer options advisor within the OTR. She has been with SAIT since 2019 and is constantly seeking out ways to improve the student experience in her own way. Being a part of this committee is an assignment she holds dear, an avenue that would enable her share experiences, engage with and find ways to create a more inclusive and empowering environment for the Black community and allies at SAIT. When she’s not working, Efua enjoys spending quality time and doing fun stuff with those who mean the most to her – family and friends.
Emmanuel is a 1st-year Welding Engineering Technology Student. His love for engineering, designs and fixing things, gives him the mindset that anything can be achieved. He loves to help, volunteer and contribute to his environment, he joined Black/African Students club at SAIT to make it better. Also passionate about Arts, Fashion, Music, and Fast cars. A frequent Europe tourist, he wants to travel the world, meet new people , learn about new cultures and have exciting experiences so he can write a book and have adventurous tales to tell his grandchildren someday.
Felicia was born and raised in Nigeria. She immigrated to Canada a year ago. Currently, she is working as an Officer with the Office of EDI. She has an educational background in Business Administration and Health Systems Management. Outside of work, she loves to spend quality time with her family and enjoys window shopping.
Festus, originally from Nigeria, became a certified Accountant in 1996 while in the Nigerian Army. He holds an MBA and is a Certified Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant, Forensic Accountant, and Certified Fraud Examiner. He authored the famous book "The Bankers' Fortress" in Nigeria before moving to Canada in 2010. Known for research in whistleblowing policy and fraud prevention, he was awarded the Best Accounting Instructor by CPA Alberta in 2021 and recognized during Black History Month 2023. He is also a Certified Financial Adviser.
Hugh is the communications coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, a role he has held officially since February of 2022 and unofficially since March of 2021. Prior to this, he was a CSR in the OTR’s advising team. He has been with SAIT for over 7 years and has two and a half years of experience as an instructor in private post-secondary. His education is in broadcasting from Mount Royal University and he formerly competed for Canada in the sport of Bobsleigh. He is excited to share how his experiences with anti-black racism have shaped him while also learning from the experiences of other BEES members.
Currently working as an educational developer in the CADI team at SAIT, Gifty has worked in various roles at SAIT and more recently, as academic chair of the English Language Foundations department. She holds a PhD degree in curriculum and education with a specialization in inclusive teaching and learning. Gifty is passionate about projects and causes that advance a more equitable, inclusive, and just society. She loves watching documentaries, African-American movies, and reality TV.
With over a decade of experience in post-secondary education, Sylvia is currently the Student Awards Coordinator here at SAIT and is passionate about doing her part to improve the overall student experience. She has lived in 3 countries – Ghana, USA, and Canada – and is excited to be part of a committee that strives to foster a more inclusive environment. Hiking, traveling, and sewing are her favorite ways to wind down and have fun.
Watch or read up on some of our previous events.Networking: Master the Art of Networking; Building Meaningful Experiences
Connect with the BEES!
Sign up for the BEES mailing list so you don’t miss out on news, events and support for SAIT’s Black community!