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Legacies and contributions

African History and Liberation Month at Memorial

Campus and Community

By Terri Coles

February will be busy at Memorial with a full slate of events for African History and Liberation Month.

The Office of the Vice-Provost, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism plans to mark the month with a keynote address by an invited scholar, a musical celebration and a series of career-focused events for students.

Focus on people of African descent

Every February, people across Canada participate in events to honour the legacies and contributions of Black people across the country. 

This year’s national theme is Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate, A Future to Build.

In addition, 2024 is the final year of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent, with a focus on recognition, justice and development. 

“It was important for us to mark this final year of the UN’s decade of focus on people of African descent as we planned our 2024 events,” said Cherry Ralhan-Khanna, program manager for the Office of the Vice-Provost, EDI-AR.

Beyond Memorial

Three of the events planned for African History and Liberation Month are happening in partnership with The Rooms in St. John’s.

“We’re very excited to have the support of The Rooms for these important events,” said Ms. Ralhan-Khanna. “It’s important to our portfolio to build connections not just among Memorial’s communities, but also beyond them, and co-hosting these evenings with The Rooms supports that goal.”

On Friday, Feb. 2., Dr. Beverly-Jean Daniel, associate professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at Toronto Metropolitan University, will deliver a keynote at The Rooms from 7-8:30 p.m.

Tickets for Reconceptualizing and Reclaiming African Historical Narratives: Moving Beyond the Interruption of Enslavement are $12 plus HST, and can be purchased from The Rooms online or by phoning 709-757-8090. Parking for this event is available at no cost.

A collage of Black faces from history.
Journey to Justice will be screened at The Rooms on Feb. 9.
Photo: National Film Board

The National Film Board documentary Journey to Justice, that tells the stories of Black Canadians who took racism to court, will screen at The Rooms on Friday, Feb. 9, from 7-9 p.m.

On Friday, Feb. 16, The Rooms and the Office of the Vice-Provost, EDI-AR will co-host a musical celebration featuring local musicians.

Admission to both events is free, with reservation required due to limited seating.

Reserve tickets by phoning 709-757-8090.

Career events for students

To support Black students, the Office of the Vice-Provost, EDI-AR is partnering with Career Development to present three workshops for students.

On Tuesday, Feb. 6, Career Development staff will present on resumé skills and meet with students individually to advise on their resumés. The event will be held from 12-2 p.m. in the Career Development Centre (University Centre-4002).

During a networking workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 12-1 p.m., students can learn networking tips and tricks from Career Development staff. Attendees will then participate in a hands-on networking lab.

The event is in The Landing on the third floor of the University Centre.

For the third session on Tuesday, Feb. 27, Black alumni from Memorial will share their stories and give advice on building a professional career after graduation.

The panel discussion will take place in The Landing, third floor, University Centre.

These career-focused sessions are designed for Black students, but all students are welcome to attend.

Additional events are planned across Memorial for African History and Liberation Month, including a workshop for Black entrepreneurs and a panel discussion on Black history in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information, visit the Office of the Vice-Provost EDI-AR’s online event calendar.

EDI-AR open house

In addition, all members of the Memorial community are invited to the office’s open house on Thursday, Feb. 1, from 10-11 a.m. to mark the opening of its new office and community space at IIC-3057 in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on the St. John’s campus.

President Neil Bose and Dr. Delores V. Mullings, vice-provost, EDI-AR, will speak. 

Everyone is invited to attend all the Black History and Liberation Month events.

See you there!

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