Each year, Black History Month (BHM) is celebrated across the U of G campus in February. These events offer the opportunity to celebrate the rich and vibrant history of the Black community and their immeasurable contributions to our country and to U of G.
Read more about U of G’s efforts to support Black Excellence and eliminate anti-Black racism and misogynoir in the President’s Black History Month statement.
The theme focuses on creation of opportunities for Black individuals to prioritize taking care of their minds, bodies, hearts and souls. 360° was included in the theme to capture a holistic lens, inspired by the Seven Dimensions of Wellness. This series of BHM events aims to increase awareness and promote dialogue of Black communities’ experiences of health and well-being.
Other events happening across campus include a lecture by U of G faculty Dr. Deirdre McCorkindale on “Why February? The History of Black History Month,” a fireside chat with U of G’s activists in residence Nneka McGregor and Dr. Marsha Hinds Myrie about Black women’s leadership in resisting and responding to gender-based violence, and more!
Join us in celebrating Black History Month!
Black History Month Events
Looking to catch a vibe? Kick off Black History Month at a live show with DESIIRE! Desiire is a Congolese, Toronto-based, Queer singer songwriter who delivers a unique blend of R&B, Afro, Jazz and Electronic to create music that is filled with hypnotic instrumentals and moody complexities. Join us for a night of gorgeous beats and a warm atmosphere. Refreshments will be served! Open to U of G students, staff and faculty.
- Thursday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (The Bullring)
Join us for an evening of creating your own art piece using bright bold paints, canvases, magazines and stickers. Use paints, collaging materials or both for a mixed media style! Treat yourself to a mindful and creative space while learning about on campus resources to support your well-being, including resources from Cultural Diversity Services, Student Wellness and the Multi Faith Resource Team. This event is open to U of G students!
- Friday, Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Summerlee Science Complex Atrium)
Have you struggled with building community at University of Guelph? Are you looking for resources on how to build your professional network? Join our panel discussion to hear about the career journeys of Black U of G students, faculty, staff and alumni at the University of Guelph and beyond. Refreshments will be served. Open to students, staff and faculty.
- Tuesday, Feb. 6, noon to 2 p.m. (The Lookout, University Centre Level 5 North)
Join us in the UC Courtyard to shop from small Black-owned businesses local to Guelph and surrounding areas. Vendors will be selling a variety of handmade and artisan goods including clothing, body care items, food, personal accessories and much more. You don’t want to miss it, especially with Valentine’s Day coming up! Open to students, staff, and faculty.
- Wednesday, Feb. 7, noon to 6 p.m. (University Centre Courtyard)
During Black History Month and every day, we encourage our community to engage with opportunities to reflect upon the past, recognize where we are now, and resolve to build a stronger future for everyone. In her upcoming lecture, Dr. Deirdre McCorkindale, professor of Black Canadian Studies and History in the College of Arts, will explore the origin of Black History Month nearly 100 years ago, its history, and the misconceptions that continue to surround it. Open to students, staff, faculty and the community. No registration is required.
- Wednesday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (MacKinnon Building, room 113)
Traditional foods are treasured – they are not just a meal, but a culture for bringing the people together! Join Chef Vanessa Simon of Vanessa’s Cuisine KW as she teaches us how to make some delicious Caribbean dishes. Caribbean cuisine is a blend of African, Indian, European, Creole, Amerindian, Chinese, Cajun, and many other flavors. Grocery items will be purchased for up to 50 student participants. This event is open to U of G students only; students register by Monday, Feb. 5.
- Thursday, Feb. 8, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Anita Stewart Food Lab, MacDonald Institute and online)
Join U of G’s 2024 Activists-in-Residence Nneka McGregor and Dr. Marsha Hinds-Myrie for a fireside chat about Black women’s leadership in resisting and responding to gender-based violence. Joining them will be Don Mahleka, Equity lead at the Guelph Community Health Centre (CHC). Nneka and Marsha’s conversation will explore how Black women practice everyday resistance, research and activism, and policy advocacy in service of advancing justice for Black women, girls and gender-diverse folks. Open to students, staff, faculty and the community.
- Thursday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Virtual and Guelph Black Heritage Society, 83 Essex St., Guelph)
Scents! Wax! Creativity! Come to a candle-making class with Cultural Diversity Services and the African Students Association. Facilitator Catherine Chambers will highlight how sustainable making intersects with racial justice, wellness and entrepreneurship as you craft your very own organic soy candles. Materials will be provided. Priority will be given to Black and racialized students. RSVP by February 8th to secure your spot!
- Friday, Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Summerlee Science Complex Atrium)
Cultural Diversity and the Sustainability Office are partnering to bring a Black History Month edition of U of G Climate Café! The purpose of a climate café is to provide a reflective, safe, respectful and private space for people to express their emotional responses to the climate and environmental crisis. This edition of the climate café will have prompts related to reflecting on the relationship with the land and how it impacts our well-being. Open to students, staff, faculty and alumni.
- Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (University Centre 332)
Join the Cultural Diversity Team and RBC at the U of G Campus for a workshop about Financial Wellness, where you will learn tools to help you cultivate financial awareness and responsibility!
- Thursday, Feb. 15, noon to 2 p.m. (University Centre 442)
Join Cultural Diversity and the Sexual and Gender Diversity team for a warm and cozy evening at the Art Gallery of Guelph for the screening of “Paris is Burning.” The documentary focuses on the ball culture of drag queens in New York, which provided a sense of community and support for the flamboyant and often socially shunned performers. After the movie, stick around for a social where you can chat with other attendees as you enjoy some snacks! Open to U of G students, staff and faculty.
- Friday, Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Art Gallery of Guelph)
Black History Month: Reconciling and Honouring our Relationships to the Seven Dimensions of Wellness
Hear from Larissa Crawford, founder of Future Ancestors Services, at the Black History Month keynote address. Crawford will hold space to explore how we’re better positioned to understand how our own actions and inactions are shaping our realities and those of future generations when we seek to understand how the actions and inactions of our ancestors shaped the realities we’ve held today. Open to all students, staff, and faculty and the community.
- Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Athletic Centre, Event Centre)
Join the Guelph Black Students Association as they welcome Black Students Associations from across Ontario to network, share their experiences and build solidarity among student organizations. This event is open to all students who self-identify as Black.
- Tuesday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Athletic Centre, Studio Room 3213)
Join the Improv Lab as Zahra takes you on a cosmic experience that is Lunar Rotations, blending musical selections with narrative overtones that connect the sounds with the theme of arriving at an eternally internal freedom: Eleutheria. Open to all.
- Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (ImprovLab, McKinnon 108)
Black individuals who don’t know how to take care of your hair, gather here! The Cultural Diversity Office and Hairnergy Braids are partnering up to bring you our first ever edition of a Black Hair Care session. At this event, you will learn how to properly nourish your hair, including how to curate hair regimens for your unique hair type and texture. This event also features an interactive braiding session where you will develop braiding techniques at a beginner level. Open to U of G students.
- Thursday, Feb. 29, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (University Centre 442)
Join our AVP, Indira Naidoo-Harris and three amazing Black Canadian trailblazers as they share their stories, their perspectives and their hopes for the Black community in Canada. Open to all.
- Thursday, Feb. 29, noon to 1:30 p.m. (Online)
Join Chef Warren Ford from George Brown College and University of Guelph’s Chancellor, Dr. Mary Anne Chambers. This event will include a discussion around Caribbean ingredients, cooking techniques and culture. In addition, Chef Ford will be demonstrating how to prepare his special dish of pan roasted jerk chicken with coconut rice and peas, coleslaw and guava vinaigrette. Registration is required through Eventbrite.
- Thursday, Feb. 29, noon to 1 p.m. (Anita Stewart Memorial Food Lab and online)
Black History Month Ongoing Initiatives
The Black Faculty Staff Network (BFSN) serves as a place of engagement, support and community for Black-identifying faculty and staff at U of G. BFSN holds 1-hour meetings monthly via Microsoft Teams as a space for community-building, peer support and conversation about topics of interest to Black staff and faculty. It also plans to facilitate more opportunities for networking, professional development, continuous learning and overall advancement.
McLaughlin Library BHM Book Collections
- Black History Month 2024; 360° Health and Wellness
The Guelph Black Students Association and the Cultural Diversity Office has curated a digital book display that promotes the prioritization of a holistic and balanced lifestyle, based on the Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Find works by historically underrepresented Black voices to foster inclusivity, education, empowerment, and community building on a variety of topics.
- Gryph Reads Display – Black History Month
If you’re visiting the library in-person, be sure to browse the physical Black History Month book display, which celebrates the works by Black authors in the library’s Gryph Reads Collection. Find the Gryph Reads Collection on the library’s first floor.
- Black History Month 2024; 360° Health and Wellness
Celebrate all month long with the BHM 2024: Self Care Package Spotify playlist curated by the Guelph Black Students Association! This playlist is a mix of R&B, Soca, Afro-beats, Pop, Dancehall, Rap, Soul, Amapiano, Funk and Blues. It consists of over 11 hours of both old and new music; these songs dive into earnest messages of self-affirmation, healing, overcoming hardship and love.
Infusion Restaurant – UC Chef’s Hall
Looking for some good food as you celebrate Black History Month? Visit the Infusion restaurant in the University Centre chef’s hall! Tuesday dishes will be inspired by African cuisine while Wednesday dishes will be inspired by Caribbean cuisine every week in February (excluding reading week), offered for a fixed price of $12.99.
Stop by the Campus Food Market every Thursday in February for the opportunity to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits, spices and seasonings at discounted prices. Each February market will be celebrating African and Caribbean foods and spices!
- Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every week in February excluding Reading Week, (University Centre Courtyard)
Special thanks to the Black History Month planning committee:
- Amelia Kezaabu, Coordinator of Cultural Diversity Programs
- Alicia Yon, Coordinator of Cultural Diversity Programs
- Sam Da Rosa Holmes, Coordinator of Indigenous Programs
- Mashal Ahmad, Sexual and Gender Diversity Office
- Damilola Oguntala, Cultural Diversity Student staff
- Abii Barrett, Inclusion Advisor, CSAHS
- Pravieena Gnanakumar, IEDI and Anti-Racism Advisor, Housing and Athletics
- Binta Njai, Guelph Black Student Association
- Martha Yiridoe, Guelph Black Student Association
- Naomi Amayaevbo, The African Student Association
- Malcolm Wright, Caribbean Cultural Club
- Mckenna Williams, Central Student Association
- Mavis Opoku, Graduate Student Association