Celebrating Black History Month #HereAtSAIT
February is Black History Month — a time to learn about, honour and celebrate the legacy of Black Canadians. Hear from three students about what Black History Month means to them, register for upcoming events #HereAtSAIT and update your Zoom or Teams background.
What is the significance of Black History Month for you?
“Being Black is not limited to one kind of Black person — there are Black Nigerians (like myself), Black Americans and other people who are Black. For me, this month is a reminder that all people have different cultures and backgrounds — we need to understand and learn about these differences. It’s okay to ask questions to understand the histories and cultures.
“Black people are doing great things in Canada and around the world. This month, I’m trying to look at how far we have come and how far we can go from here, despite the challenges.”
"Personally, because of what Black people have gone through in the past and all the injustices that continue to happen, it’s a good time to think about the history — to know where people are coming from, and to think about what the future holds for them.”
– Jide Akinwale, New Media Production and Design student, International Centre Office Assistant
"I think Black History Month is a time to reflect on the historical trials and tribulations of people of African and Caribbean descent while at the same time seeing the resiliency of the Black people to endure through such things.
"It's a time to be proud of your Black culture and heritage by looking back on many historical figures in the Black community who paved the way for justice and racial equality." They include Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, etc. Although we have a long way to go to achieve this goal, we look back during this month to show that we have come a long way.”
– Olumide Dodjro, New Media Production and Design student
🎥 Journey to Justice: Exploring the History of Anti-Black Racism in Canada
Thursday, Feb. 3 | 11 am to noon
Join a panel of Black Canadian SAIT students and staff as they unpack the short documentary, Journey to Justice. The film — which can be streamed online ahead of time — narrates the experiences of six Black Canadians who fought against racism, segregation and inequality at all levels.
The panel will pay tribute to the work of these heroes and discuss the relevance of the events in the documentary to the experiences of Black people in present-day Canada. Panelists will highlight ways everyone can contribute to fostering a more equitable society for Black people in our city and beyond.
The event will end with a Q&A session, so bring your questions.
📜 Discussing the Scarborough Charter
Thursday, Feb. 10 | 2 to 3 pm
Introduced in the summer of 2020, the Scarborough Charter provides guidance for promoting Black inclusion in post-secondary environments at all levels. Join us and provide your input as we dive into the Charter and explore the realities of anti-Black racism. Our discussion will be followed by a Q&A on the steps that can be taken to create a path forward to a more inclusive SAIT.
To get the most from this discussion, review the charter before the event.
📖 Inclusion Talks | Mayann Francis: An Honourable Life
Monday, Feb. 28 | 12:30 to 1:30 pm
SAIT is honoured to welcome Mayann Francis, Nova Scotia’s first Black lieutenant-governor, to the first edition of Inclusion Talks. Her candid memoir, Mayann Francis: An Honourable Life, can be accessed as a free e-book using your mySAIT credentials. In it, Her Honour describes her journey from humble beginnings in Whitney Pier, the daughter of immigrants, to the vice-regal office.
Read the memoir, join the online book discussion anytime and tune in Monday, Feb. 28 to hear Her Honour Dr. Francis address the SAIT community. You can submit questions you’d like her to answer by Monday, Feb. 21.
Additional learning and resources
- Equity, diversity and inclusion at SAIT
- Calgary Black Chambers Mentorship program
- City of Calgary anti-racism resources
- The Calgary Foundation — Black-led/Black-serving organizations in our community
- National Film Board of Canada film playlist — Black Communities in Canada: A Rich History
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