Celebrating Black Excellence at the University of Waterloo
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
February is dedicated to celebrating and honouring the legacy of Black Canadians and Americans. The histories and accomplishments of Black Canadians have and continue to influence academia, universities, and students all months of the year. Black History Month (BHM) is an important reminder that Black history is a part of our everyday lives and the important messaging of BHM should continue beyond February. In addition to the celebrations, let’s continue the essential work of self-reflection and intentional anti-racism. Take the time to reflect on what we all can do to ensure that racism and oppression have no space here at UWaterloo:
This year’s BHM theme is February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every dayhttps://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history-month.html. Extend your learnings, conversations and celebrations beyond February by exploring a brief history of Black experience at UWaterloo. As a Waterloo student, PhD candidate Jonathan Zi En Chan and Professor Christopher Taylor uncover Black student and faculty stories and the evolution of Black Studies. Leaders, scholars, innovators and creatives with African origins have shaped the university as we know it today.
Black History Month is an ideal time to continue your learnings (and unlearnings) through university and community workshops. Sign up for Waterloo courses here:
- Confronting Anti-Black Racism e-Learning Course
- February 8: Identifying & Uprooting Internalized Racism – Student Workshop
- February 17: Pathways for Addressing (with care) Disclosures of Racism – Student Workshop
- March 10: Pathways for Addressing (with care) Disclosures of Racism – Faculty & Staff Workshop
- March 15: Identifying & Uprooting Internalized Racism – Staff & Faculty Workshop
- March 24: Disrupting and Decentering Whiteness
Find Waterloo region community events here:
- February 4, 12, 18, 26: Black Presence in Berlin walking tour starting at Kitchener Market
- February 15: A History of Motown: Virtual Performance with Krystle Dos Santos
- February 17: A Discussion With Antonio Michael Downing: Musician, Writer and Activist
- February 27: Black History Month celebration at Mount Zion Lutheran Church
The University of Waterloo also has a Black Studies diploma and Fundamentals of Anti-Racist Communication diploma. Interested in adding a minor about identity to your undergraduate degree? The Cultural Identities Minor might be the one for you!
Check out the Ujima: Black History Month 2022 initiative to learn about stories of Black History at UW and within the Kitchener-Waterloo community by attending virtual events, workshops, and resources. Ujima (oo-JEE-mah) comes from the Swahili word that represents a principle of Kwanzaa: To build and maintain our community together and make our ‘brothers and sisters’ problems our problems to solve together.
WUSA Services and Clubs continue to curate spaces for Black students to excel, build community and lead. Please see below for some Clubs and Services you can get involved with:
- African Student Association,
- Association of Caribbean Students,
- Black Association for Student Expression (BASE),
- RAISE – Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity,
- AfroXDance Club,
- Black Liberated Athletes Coalition
- the Somali Student Association.
WUSA is committed to sharing and highlighting Black undergraduate student voices. Please join us here and on the @yourWUSA Instagram every upcoming Tuesday this month for a new feature on a student-run club/service. They will be sharing their accomplishments and influence on our campus and all the amazing ways they have created and amplified the Black student voice here at UWaterloo. Here is the schedule:
- Tuesday, February 8: Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity (RAISE)
- Tuesday, February, 15: AfroXDance Club
- Tuesday, February 22: UW Base
The University of Waterloo has designed a non-exhaustive list of resources intended to help students, faculty, and staff at the University of Waterloo in developing a deeper understanding of anti-Black racism, racism toward Indigenous folks and people of colour; as well as provide tools for campus community members to engage in anti-racism work across campus.