For the first time in the 27-years that Black History Month has been observed officially in Canada Lakeland College will be marking the February events calendar with BHM activities.
Business instructor and organizer Ben Acquaye says the significance of the occasion addresses several hot button issues pertinent to people of African Heritage and those who ally themselves with its associated causes, in particular systemic matters.
“For a lot of professionals in industry, they also have to deal with a lot of systemic issues – a lot of bias, a lot of prejudice and a lot of policies that quite often do not have any Back or minority involvement.”
He says over the years, both students and employees at the College have wondered about having a celebration of Black History Month and they are looking forward to the events, at about one each week, that have been planned.
- Feb. 7 – Professor Andy Knight political scientist at the University of Alberta will speak at the Lloydminster campus on the Black Story and Experience from 11:30 a.m.- 1p.m. The event will be livestreamed to the Vermilion Campus
- Feb. 13 – Black Stories – a multi-panel event will be held at the Lloydminster campus cafeteria from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. for students, families and the community. A cultural cuisine will be provided to attendees.
- Feb. 16 – Synergy Speakers Corner (Lloydminster) will see Black students presenting on topics relevant to BHM (students only)
- Feb. 27 – Movie Night (Servus Credit Union Theatre, Lloydminster) open to everyone 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- Feb. 28 – Movie Night (Alumni Hall, Vermilion) open to everyone 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
In discussing the outcomes of the month and issues going forward, Acquaye sees three things that matter.
“There are three things that Black people really need. Black people want the opportunity to enjoy their rights. Black people need resources. And finally, Black people need representation at the table where decisions are made.”
The Lakeland College website will host a section about BHM with statements of support and schedule of activities, says Acquaye.
The theme for Black History Month this year is Ours To Tell.