A month full of events and learning opportunities at Lethbridge College recognizing Black History Month will come to an end with a celebration on Thursday. The event will feature multiple speakers, an African dance performance and traditional African food.
The college first celebrated Black History Month in 2017, and has had celebrations each year since. Black History Month events are organized by group of instructors, employees and students of African and Caribbean descent, with support from the Lethbridge College Students’ Association (LCSA). Support comes from other departments, such as the Buchanan Library and the Centre for Justice and Human Services, to help the group achieve its goal of celebrating and raising awareness of the different cultures and backgrounds of those who make up the college community.
“Our Black History Month celebration is meant to serve as remembrance of our respective heroes pasts’ and a reminder of their sacrifices, the agitations for freedom, the struggles for rights and the privileges which have helped in promoting and enriching the cultural diversity, cultural values and inclusion seen today,” says Dr. Oye Abioye, School of Business faculty member and Black History Month organizing committee member.
Lethbridge College’s Black History Month events began with an opening ceremony on Feb. 3. Throughout February, the campus community was invited to events such as Black History Month Jeopardy; a Humans of Lethbridge College event, where community members were able to speak to people of African and Caribbean descent about their backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences and future outlook; and drop-in soccer and clean touch – an American football type game, without the ball, most popular in Northern Sierra Leone, West Africa.
“It makes me proud to see how our community has come together to make Black History Month a major event on our campus,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “Celebrating and recognizing the diversity of our community helps to make for a more inclusive environment for all of our students and employees.”
Black History Month has been officially recognized in Canada since 1995 and celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of people of African and Caribbean descent to the development and cultural diversity of Canada. The Government of Alberta officially recognized Black History Month for the first time in 2017. According to the 2016 census, Alberta has more than 129,000 black residents, the third-largest black population in the country.