Black History Month graphic with wordmark

Feb. 2, 2022

Celebrate Black History Month with UCalgary

Register now for virtual events happening throughout February

This February, celebrate Black history by delving into the research, knowledge, experiences and stories of renowned Black writers, activists and scholars.

In January 2017, the Government of Alberta officially proclaimed February as Black History Month, recognizing the contributions that Black people of African and Caribbean descent have made to the province.

The University of Calgary is celebrating Black History Month through a series of online events which include webinars, workshops, and conversations about research, creativity, wellness, anti-Black racism and more. These events will be presented by faculties, schools and departments of the UCalgary community.

This month is an opportunity to highlight the over a century of Black people in the province, and the contributions and achievements of Black faculty, staff, students and alumni,” says Dr. Malinda Smith, PhD, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion).

Black History Month is about acknowledging the people who helped shape our province and who continue to make important contributions to our community.

The first few events tie in with UCalgarys Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Week, which takes place Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, and is part of the universitys ongoing efforts to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive campus, led by the Office of EDI.

A significant milestone took place last fall. UCalgary joined more than 50 universities across Canada in signing the national Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black inclusion in higher education.

Smith says taking action against anti-Black racism and fostering Black inclusion needs to happen year-round and signing the charter was an important step for the university. This affirms our commitment to combating racism and discrimination and embedding EDI within our institution,” says Smith.

Throughout Black History Month, the Calgary Black Chambers is accepting nominations for the 2022 Calgary Black Achievement Awards. Learn more about nominating someone who is making a difference in our community or doing outstanding work in their field.

Upcoming Black History Month events will be featured on the UCalgary community engagement website throughout February.

Scheduled Black History Month events at UCalgary include:

Feb. 3

An Evening with Bernardine Evaristo

Join the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program for an evening with Dr. Bernardine Evaristo, PhD, author of the 2019 Booker Prize-winning novel Girl, Woman, Other, and this years Distinguished Visiting Writer.

Feb. 7

CMF Race in Media Lecture: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

In this talk, Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, PhD, a professor with the University of California, Los Angeles, will discuss her book Algorithms of Oppression, on the impact of marginalization and misrepresentation in commercial-information platforms like Google.

Feb. 10

Hawa Y. Mire: Black Resilience and Resistance at the Intersections

Although undervalued and subjected to pervasive anti-Black racism, Black women are at the forefront of organizing and transformation in Canada. In her presentation, Hawa Y. Mire will discuss her experiences as a Somali-Canadian woman. She will touch on resistance, resilience, and how Black people can re-imagine a different future in a post-COVID Canadian society.

Feb. 10

Centring Racial and Social Justice in Research and the Everyday: A Conversation with Erika Hart

Join a conversation with activist, writer and educator Ericka Hart, former adjunct professor with the Columbia School of Social Work, to discuss ways research can be utilized for racial and social justice, and how to deepen professional and personal practices towards centring those who navigate society from its margins.

Feb. 11

Readings and Conversation by African Canadian writers

Join this panel conversation with Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onobia, 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist, and author of The Son of the House; Amatoritsero Ede, author of Teardrops on the Weser; and Yejide Kilanko, author of A Good Name. The panel will be facilitated by Uchechukwu Umezurike, postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English.

Feb. 11

An Enslaved Black Family at the Crossroads of Slavery and Freedom in New Brunswick

Join this conversation with Dr. Harvey Amani about Dick Hopewell, his son Dick Hopewell Jr., and his wife Statia and how the law enslaved them, but they consistently fought for their freedom.

Feb. 17

Understanding Anti-Black Racism and Black Wellness

In Canada, there has been growing interest to declare racism and discrimination a public health crisis, specifically anti-Black racism. In this session, participants will critically examine the impact of anti-Black racism on black health and wellness and how to disrupt the systemic barriers that continue to create inequities among Black Canadians.

Feb. 17

The Cypher: Hip Hop as a Method

A Process of Critical Healing Through Art, Politics and Culture webinar

This heARTbase workshop is an introductory session that focuses on the historical context of Black popular culture and music leading up to the emergence of hip hop culture.

Feb. 19

Mobilizing Arts-based Literacies: Connecting through Hip Hop - Workshop #2

We are each literate in the ways we express ourselves with our bodies and through the arts. By including the literacies of hip hop’s art forms, educators can communicate the importance of Black history and ways of knowing.

Feb. 24

A Refusal to Hate: Writing and Black Wellness

In this talk, University of Alberta alumnus Dr. Uche Umezurike, PhD, recounts his experiences as a former graduate student, highlighting the role creative writing has played in helping him deal with instances of anti-Blackness and microaggressions on campus and the relationship between writing and wellness.

Additional Black History Month events will be listed on the UCalgary community engagement website throughout February.

UCalgary is hosting additional related events in early March:

March 3

Black Excellence in the Time of EDI: Celebration or Tokenism

When the goal of excellence is hindered by oppression, what does achieving excellence mean? Who defines excellence, when will accessibility be open in Black communities? and what is the impact of EDI post-2020 and the global acknowledgment of Black Lives Matter?

March 9

Faculty of Social Work annual research symposium: Issues of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization in Research and Practice

This virtual symposium will showcase an amazing variety of research, including faculty members, students and community partners. The goal of the symposium is to inspire, connect and encourage new research initiatives.

The University of Calgary is committed to an equitable, diverse and inclusive university. It recognizes that diverse faculty, staff, students and alumni benefit and enrich the work, teaching, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and broader community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been, and continue to be, encountered by equity-deserving groups, particularly women, Indigenous Peoples, visible/racialized minorities, persons with disabilities and LGBTQ2S+. For more information, visit the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.