|More Pictures from the 2014 Breakfast|
March 6, 2012 -- Wavin' Flag roundtable facilitates cross-campus conversation
Since 1926, people of all cultures celebrate Black History Month in February. Originally a week-long event initiated by historian Carter G. Woodson in the United States, the event is now observed throughout North America and the United Kingdom.
The month serves to increase awareness of the history of people of African descent, as well as their contributions and cultures around the world.
In Thunder Bay, the members of the African and Caribbean Students Association (AFCASA) organized a dinner and display of the arts at the beginning of February.
Feb. 29 marked not only the quadrennial leap year, but the inaugural Black History Month roundtable discussion. This year’s event, branded Wavin’ Flag, was the brainchild of Orillia campus student Rebecca Akrasi-Sarpong, who was also the MC.
With the help of professors, students, and organizations on both Lakehead campuses, the event came to fruition in a relatively short time.
Broadcast live in Thunder Bay and Orillia, this cross-campus Black History Month event continued AFCASA’s ongoing work, and to Black people’s history of education. The event was supported by Human Rights Education, the Multicultural Centre, as well as AFCASA.
Those in attendance were able to digest and discuss a wide range of topics affecting members in both the Black and global communities. Dr. Walid Chahal began the series of lectures with an examination of systemic racism, promptly followed by Dr. Zubairu Wai, who offered up an in-depth analysis of Africanism and African History.
Dr. Sandra Jeppesen (Orillia) and Dr. Taina Maki Chahal were able to demonstrate the power of words through the analysis of journalism in the Black Power Mixtape and slam poetry by Taalam Acey, respectively.
The students were not to be outshined, with heartfelt poetry by Poni Modi and Raina Fahmi, and readings by Dyki Nwosah and Takwana Nhau. Finally, off-campus guest Althea Annan offered up an engaging letter to her unborn child covering issues in the world of Black feminists in great depth.
Discussion periods occurred throughout the evening.
Editor’s Note: Uko Abara was a co-organizer of the Wavin’ Flags roundtable. His contributions at the event included a performance of an original electro-acoustic musical tribute to Malcolm X, as well as a presentation on the issue of cultural appropriation.
Letter to the Editor (Chronicle Journal June 2011)
To the Editor
The members of Diversity Thunder Bay would like to congratulate Thunder Bay Police Service and, in particular, the Aboriginal Liaison Unit and its Advisory Committee, for their recent action in opening an Occurrence File specifically for instances of citizens being pelted with raw eggs, spoons etc. thrown from moving vehicles. It would seem that such attacks, directed towards Aboriginal people, visible minorities and street workers, are becoming more common in our community.
By opening a specific Occurrence File and publicizing the file number P11027242, Thunder Bay Police Service is sending out several important messages:
To those experiencing this unacceptable behaviour - you don’t have to put up with this behaviour. It is worth reporting and when you report it, it will be taken seriously;
To those perpetrating such behaviour - this behaviour is neither welcome nor acceptable in Thunder Bay and will not be viewed as a harmless prank;
To the rest of us - keep your eyes open. If you witness such behaviour note vehicle make and license number as well as location and call in that information immediately.
Diversity Thunder Bay and Thunder Bay Police Service were partners in the Diversity in Policing Project from 2004-2008. We would like to think that this proactive approach to a troubling problem may have been influenced in part by this project.
The Mission of Diversity Thunder Bay is “to foster an equitable community free of racism and discrimination.’ It takes the whole community working together to make this happen.
Again we congratulate Thunder Bay Police Service on taking this important first step in tracking an unacceptable behaviour. We urge the media and the rest of the community to work with them to help ensure that all citizens are treated with dignity and respect.
Walid Chahal, Rebecca Johnson, Co-chairs Diversity Thunder Bay
Brenda Reimer, Secretary - Diversity Thunder Bay