Upcoming events at Ryerson for Black History Month

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By Charlize Alcaraz

Ryerson is hosting four special events for Black History Month to celebrate the excellence of Black community members within and outside the university. Here’s a rundown of the events you can look forward to this month:

Reckoning: #BlackLivesMatter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements, with Dr. Deva Woodly

Friday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m.

In a talk with Deva Woodly, associate professor of politics at The New School in New York, attendees will learn about the democratic functions and importance of social movements like #BlackLivesMatter in politicizing the public “in times of political despair.”

Woodly’s talk is the fifth in Ryerson’s PhD policy studies virtual speakers series, which hosts events with scholars, activists and practitioners to discuss the role of policy in addressing issues facing our democracy and governance.

Amplifying the Voices of Black Scholars

Monday, Feb. 1 at 12:30 p.m.

The School of Early Childhood Studies is hosting the first event of their two-part Research Colloquia Series. Speakers will tackle discussions regarding intersectional approaches to childhood disability and raising healthy Black children. 

The Black Student Experience in Canada

Thursday, Feb. 4 at 12:30 p.m.

The Canadian Federation of Students is offering a one-day event on Feb. 4 called “The Black Student Experience in Canada.” Although this event is not affiliated with Ryerson, it will feature Ryerson journalism alumni and journalist Eternity Martis. Martis is the best-selling author of They Said This Would Be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up.


According to the event’s page, it will run from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It features five various sections including panels, workshops and a documentary premiere. Sandy Hudson, co-founder of Black Lives Matter—Toronto will also be speaking at the Solidarity Across Movements panel.

Celebrating Trailblazers in Canada’s Legal Community

Thursday, Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m.

As a tribute to Lincoln Alexander, the Faculty of Law will be hosting a virtual event to honour his achievements. Alexander was the first Black person to be elected to Canada’s House of Commons, as well as the first to serve as a federal cabinet minister and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. 

The event will also be paying tribute to other Black leaders and trailblazers in the industry, both past and present. 

Consent Change Makers: Black Students in Canada Addressing Sexual Violence at Universities

Thursday, Feb. 25 at 12 p.m.

This panel, featuring speakers Cassandra Fullwood, Vatineh Magaji and Chloe Kemeni, will discuss ways to address sexualized violence in universities. 

Fullwood is a fourth-year arts and contemporary studies student at Ryerson and the founder of We Heal Together, a “Black survivor space that focuses on collective community healing.” The group discusses systemic barriers and erasure of Black people in survivor-led spaces, while also providing “alternative healing methods through mindfulness techniques…and multiple art mediums with guest speakers.”

Magaji was the president of Justice for Women Manitoba for two years and is currently involved with Courage to Act’s Student Organizer Community of Practice, Respect Educate Empower Survivors (REES) through the Youth Advisory Board, and the Women’s Health Clinic.

Kemeni is the anti-racism and oppression public educator at the Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) and a BCL-JD candidate at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. 

Students, staff and faculty can view all events and register online here.

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