Black History should be celebrated, and not just this month

February 18, 2020

Black History month calls upon us to reflect upon the systemic marginalization of black voices and culture in Canada, and invites us to celebrate the important contributions of the Black Canadian community.

With this in mind, I encourage SFU students, faculty and staff to attend one or more of the following events planned across our campuses to mark Black History Month:

  • Saturday, Feb. 22: SFU Public Square will hold a book launch and panel discussion on Black History, featuring celebrated activist, writer and historian Blair Imani.
  • Monday, Feb. 24: the Department of Political Science will host Professor Nadia E. Brown of Purdue University who will deliver a lecture entitled, “Thank You Black Women for Saving America and Democracy.”
  • Thursday, Feb. 27: the Department of History will host an event entitled, “A Conversation with Stephanie Allen, Hogan’s Alley Society.” Allen is a SFU Urban Studies graduand, where her project focussed on Canada’s history of displacing Black communities and on making a case to redress this in Vancouver.
  • Friday, Feb. 28: the SFU African Students' Association will host a discussion on how to create space and highlight the experiences of Black students at SFU.
  • Friday, Feb. 28: the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies will hold a lecture entitled, “The Beauty of Being Black.”

These events and other SFU resources associated with observing Black History month serve to remind us that it is our shared responsibility to do everything we can to combat racism in our society. To this end, I urge all community members to become familiar with the work of SFU’s EDI initiative, and to support its ongoing efforts to foster a more equitable, diverse and inclusive university community.