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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.

Our mission

  • 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.”

Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO

Read our full statement on anti-racism.

Goals

Advocacy

Facilitate access to and distribution of ongoing resources which address challenges in the Black community while meeting the social, emotional, academic and cultural needs of Black students and employees.

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 the historical and present contributions of Black people in Canadian culture and society.

Definitions and understanding

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.

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.

A social construct based on geographic, historical, political, economic, social/cultural factors and physical traits which seeks to classify groups of people.

Any individual action, or institutional practice, which treats people differently because of their skin colour or ethnicity. This distinction is often used to justify discrimination.

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.

Students on campus walking

Equity, diversity and inclusion

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) provide the conditions for a healthy campus where everyone feels welcomed, supported, included, valued and empowered to succeed.

Read more

Upcoming events

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. Email bees@sait.ca for BEES membership inquiries.

Profile photo of Adrienne Jones

 

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.

Profile photo of David Ilonze

 

Chimdi is a second-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.

Profile photo of Efua Ukuwelah

 

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.

Profile photo of Felicia Adeniyi

 

Felicia was born and raised in Nigeria. She immigrated to Canada a year ago. Currently, she is working as an Administrative Assistant with the Office of EDI and Ombudsperson. 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.

Profile photo of Hugh Baker

 

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.

Profile photo of Jenna Nakamura

 

Jenna is one of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officers at SAIT. She has over 6 years of facilitation experience working with youth and young adults teaching them sexual health, consent, healthy relationships, diversity and inclusion. When she isn’t working, you can find her playing at the park with her kids or eating sweet treats. She is excited to be a part of the BEES Committee and provide support to staff and students while combatting anti-racism on campus.

Profile photo of Joseph Macdonald

 

Joseph is an Entrepreneur, Educator, Consultant, Traveler, Volunteer, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advocate. He has a B. Comm with majors in Marketing and Finance and a minor in Sociology, and an MBA with majors in International Finance and Multiculturalism. In addition to multiple board roles, Joseph is currently a Training Consultant in Part-Time Studies with SAIT’s School of Business and the owner/operator of Home on The Range Adventure Tours.

Profile photo of Rekiyat Siyaka

 

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.

Community connections

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has formed a partnership 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. In order to foster ongoing collaboration throughout the year, SAIT will host one of the monthly meetings for the CBC on SAIT’s campus. The goal of the event is foster closer ties between the CBC and SADT as a way to increase access to and participation in Calgary’s bourgeoning tech industry for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

Learn more about the CBC.

Photo of the Calgary Black Chambers group

Resources

Contact us

Black Empowerment and Excellence at SAIT (BEES)

bees@sait.ca

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