ICYMI: Distinguished Immigrants Panel for Black History Month
There’s unity in community and yesterday, some key members of the Black community in Calgary came out to support the Black Empowerment and Excellence at SAIT (BEES) committee and their activities for Black History Month. The Distinguished Immigrants Panel was an opportunity for SAIT students and employees to learn from the panelists’ stories and experiences as successful Black immigrants.
Three speakers participated in the panel to share their experiences: Dr. Caesar Apentiik, Developmental Studies Professor, University of Calgary; Chi Iliya-Ndule, Corporate Commercial Lawyer at Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP, Co-Founder and President, Calgary Black Chambers; and Shauna Porter, Anti-Racism Committee Chair, Calgary Police Service.
“Listening to the speakers share their challenging but successful transitions into the Canadian workforce, a few universal themes and values resonated: perseverance, community and mentorship,” says Rekiyat Siyaka (she/her), Educational Developer and faculty at SAIT, and the moderator for the panel. “It was clear to me that finding one's community (whatever that means to each person) is key to weathering the transition to the Canadian workplace. It emerged that Black employees and students had noticed the growing presence and visibility of Black people at SAIT. This leads to an increased sense of belonging and community, affirms our voices matter and shows the SAIT community cares about our experiences, journeys and growth.”
Lisa Marielle Cooper (she/her), SAIT Software Development student, attended the panel and captured some key moments to share here today.
Shauna Porter, Anti-Racism Committee Chair, Calgary Police Service, talked about the necessity of perseverance, both for individuals and as a community.
Dr. Caesar Apentiik, Developmental Studies Professor, University of Calgary, highlighted the value of being an active part of your industry and community, in his case, academia, to guide your development and establish yourself.
Chi Iliya-Ndule, Corporate Commercial Lawyer at Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP, Co-Founder and President, Calgary Black Chambers, emphasized the value of mentorship as she got back to her career as a lawyer after she moved to Canada from Nigeria.
✨ Connect with the SAIT community
Learn more about allyship at SAIT and Black empowerment with BEES this February for Black History Month.
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