February 9, 2021

The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) wholeheartedly acknowledges Black History Month (BHM) and the contributions of Black people in Canada and at SFU. We commend the efforts of monumental Black folks in the past, and the roads they paved for society today. For many in the Black community, this is a time for celebration also and serves as a time to reconcile and address the specific needs of the Black community. Black History Month was officially recognized by the House of Commons in 1995. This incredible milestone was spearheaded by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black woman to sit in the House of Commons. 

During Black History Month, it is important that we highlight the many Black achievements outside of trauma and struggle, and focus on celebrating Black love, art, and joy. Support Black storytelling. Follow Black folks on social media that explore topics outside of racism and social justice. The energy and intentionality we bring into BHM should set the tone for how to appreciate Blackness all year-round, and not solely when we benefit from Black folks’ labour.

We encourage SFU educators and students to embed Canadian Black history in their classrooms. Celebrating Black History Month on a national-scale is crucial to fighting Black erasure in Canada and educating people on the contributions of Black Canadians. 

In June 2020, the SFSS took a stance by standing in solidarity with Black lives. It is important that we continue to tangibly uphold the statements that we made during this time, “working with Black student organizers and allies… holding our University accountable in any efforts for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice”. In doing so, we also must celebrate the work and efforts of current Black people and organizations. Close to our own hearts, we thank the Students of African and Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA) as well as the African Students’ Association (ASA) for the work that they have done since their inception at SFU. They generously share their knowledge, drive for justice, and passion for bringing the community together. 

BHM Events by SFU Students of Caribbean and African Ancestry (SOCA)

Mark your calendars to participate in SOCA’s Black Celebration programming this February! Follow SOCA’s Instagram, Facebook, and website for updates.

  1. Black Trivia
    February 5 | 7:00pm
  2. Afro-Dance Workshop
    February 13 | 12:00 – 1:30pm
  3. Movie Nights (x2)
    February 19 and 20 | 7:00pm
  4. #BlackMindsMatter: A Panel Discussion on Mental Health
    February 27 | 4:00 – 5:30pm

Follow the SFSS Events page on Instagram to keep up with SFSS’ Black History Month events and posts. 

Take Action: Petition the Government of Canada to Recognize Emancipation Day

This petition seeks to make Emancipation Day a nationally recognized holiday in Canada. Emancipation Day, which falls on Aug. 1, celebrates the day slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in 1834. Learn more about the importance of Emancipation Day celebration and education here.

Sign Petition Here: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2924 

Learn More About Black History in Canada

Here are some resources to aid your journey in diving into Canadian Black history!

BC Black History Awareness Society

British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character Influenced the Vision of Canada (Digital Museum)

Black History in Canada

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/collection/black-history-in-canada

SFU Library’s Collections: Celebrate Black History Month with books by and about Black Canadians

https://www.lib.sfu.ca/find/books-media/black-history-month

Honouring Black Canadians in Science and Technology

https://ingeniumcanada.org/channel/articles/honouring-black-canadians-in-science-and-technology

28 Films to Watch During Black History Month That Aren’t About Black Trauma

https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/movies-about-black-joy-48137615

Read the full statement here.

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