2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Graphic by Julieanne Acosta

Anti-Black Racism Task Force hosts several events for Black History Month

By Nazeefa Ahmed, February 13 2023

The University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work’s (FSW) Anti-Black Racism Task Force is hosting several events throughout February in honour of Black History Month. The events are a part of a greater plan to develop Black excellence and address systemic racism against Black individuals. 

“The FSW formed the Anti-Black Racism Task Force to uphold this commitment, with a mandate of promoting Black excellence and contributions while addressing anti-Black racism in its structures, processes, and practices,” reads a statement in their Action Plan. 

In an interview with the Gauntlet, Task Force coordinator and social work student, Victoria Ige, describes the intentions of the Task Force when it was created in the summer of 2020. 

“The Task Force just started as a response to the murders, police brutality and the social reckoning that was happening in 2020,” said Ige. “The faculty originally released a statement but members of the faculty felt that there needed to be more action. They decided to take a stance alongside and in solidarity with the ongoing call for social justice and racial justice that was happening in Canada, the United States and across the world.”

On Feb. 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Task Force will host a dodgeball tournament, “Dodge, Duck, Dip, and Dive” in U of C’s Gold Gym. Ige hopes that the event will create community and introduce a safe space to Black students at the university.   

“We want the Task Force to be more visible in the campus community so Black students know they have a group that will support and advocate for them,” said Ige. “So this fun activity is for everyone to get together, socialize and celebrate Black joy.” 

The Task Force has also partnered with African Canadian Civic Engagement Council (ACCEC) to host, “ANZA Black Youth Entrepreneurs Event” in Edmonton on Feb.  24 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ige states that the event will be streamed live for viewers in Calgary and beyond. 

“The mentorship program will help young Black people with creating their own businesses. So it’s like a mentorship program. They help them develop a business plan and help them be successful in their chosen area of business,” said Ige. “There will also be a digital storytelling piece that focuses on the history of Black people before colonization. The youth have mentioned that it seems like Black history always starts with slavery, but we know that’s not the whole story.”

In her concluding statements, Ige describes how the Faculty of Social Work allows her to actively celebrate Black History Month and advocate for change.

“This task force allows me to be part of something that is making a difference and, as social work, I get to advocate for important social issues,” said Ige. “I can ask questions such as, what needs to change? What can be changed? How do we collaborate with people to make real change?

“The month has always been a time of pride for me. I love seeing people learning about what it means to be Black and really celebrating it. People are more open and receptive to learning about that history during this month, but really black history should be acknowledged year-round,” Ige continued.

The Task Force hosts virtual cafes throughout the year to encourage discussions about Black history and experiences. Students are invited to attend the next one happening on Feb. 13, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. called, “Identities in the Black Diaspora of Canada.” Registration information can be found on their website.

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet