Laurier prepares a variety of events for Black History month

Wilfrid Laurier University has arranged for several panels to be held throughout Black History Month, available for all students. 

This is in addition to other resources being provided on campus and virtually.

In keeping with university tradition, the panels will feature experts in a variety of fields and will be available to all students free of charge.

“They all offer something unique to the community, they all offer unique speakers, unique lenses,” Barrington Walker, associate vice-president of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Laurier, said about the upcoming events. 

“But at the same time, taken together, they give us something of a broad understanding of the experiences, histories and cultures of African-descended people in Canada.”

The month began with a panel on policing and race in Canada, featuring Waterloo’s chief of police, among other guests. Feb. 9 features panels on peer support for black students, inclusive and diverse leadership and activism among African-Canadian girls.

Later this month there will be further events on the topics of African women in STEM programs, untold histories of black communities, racialized individuals as researchers and mental and physical wellness for black students.

As was the case last year, the panels will be held virtually over Zoom and will be open to the public.

Walker encourages students from all faculties to attend the panels should they be interested.

“[Events during Black History Month] will attract people in the broader community who are interested in hearing what the speakers have to say,” he said.

“There’s always an important community element to the work that people are engaged in this month, so I am confident that our speakers will keep a broad audience in mind when they present their work.”

According to Walker, one of the benefits of Black History Month being a nationally recognized occasion is that it draws attention to an important area of research and activism.

Beyond this one month, the university offers further resources for racialized students.

These include the Association of Black Students, as well as the Laurier chapter of Black Medical Leaders of Tomorrow

For others working with the university, there is the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus.

Laurier also provides financial support through the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Highest Priority Needs fund. 

A full list of virtual panels can be found on the Laurier website.

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