Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities. The 2022 theme for Black History Month is: “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day,” which focuses on recognizing the daily contributions that Black Canadians make to Canada.
No matter where you live, CFN invite all Canadians to learn more about these communities, and how they continue to help shape the story of Canada. Below are some events you can take part in here in Calgary this Black History Month.
1. The University of Calgary's Faculty of Arts and the Arts Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee present: Understanding Anti-Black Racism and Black Wellness
February 17, 2022
4:30pm - 6:00pm MST
In Canada, there has been growing interest to declare racism and discrimination a public health crisis, specifically anti-Black racism. According to leading experts across the nation, racism is a social determinant of health which results in inequities in social inclusion, economic outcomes, personal health, and access to affordable and quality healthcare. We as a nation have a responsibility to recognize, understand and mediate these injustices in order to support inclusive, sustainable and healthy communities.
Cynthia Okafor is a proud Calgarian, born and raised and is also the daughter of first-generation Nigerian immigrants. She is a registered social worker and has almost 20 years of experience working in the social services sector. Cynthia has had a truly fulfilling career and has worked in a variety of settings including settlement and integration, community development, social planning, and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree from Carleton University.
2. The University of Calgary's Faculty of Social Work presents: The Cypher: Hip Hop as a Method A Process of Critical Healing Through Art, Politics, and Culture
February 17, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm MST
An introductory session that focuses on the historical context of Black popular culture and music leading up to the emergence of Hip Hop culture. We explore how to implement Hip-Hop elements as methods of engagement and education. Take a journey with the songs’ beat through mental health journaling and lyrical critiques, artistic graffiti political expressions, therapeutic mixed tape selections, groupwork cyphers and community awareness and education.
heARTbase is a group of practitioners who are interested in non-traditional, anti-colonial, and political methods to critical healing in Black youth’s lives in relation to radical self-care. We use Healing Centered Engagement (HCE), an innovative strength-based paradigm that promotes a community view of healing and re-centers culture as a key factor in overall well-being. This is a way of [re]connecting with an engaged heart and creating a safe space for healing to happen.
3. Storytelling Alberta Calgary (SAC) presents: Story Café: The Black Experience – Untold Stories
February 23, 2022
7:00pm - 9:00pm MST
Storytelling Alberta has brought together an exciting roster of talent for its upcoming Black History Month event, where guests will hear songs and readings from Chantal Chagnon, Dr. Clem Marshall, Wakefield Brewster and Maria Crooks. The event will be live streamed through YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
4. Arts Commons presents: Now Listen: A Black Poet's Message
Engineered Air Theatre
February 26, 2022
7:00pm - 9:00pm MST
Location: Engineered Air Theatre
Part of the TD Amplify Cabaret, Now Listen: A Black Poet’s Message features local artists using spoken and sung poetry to explore Black experiences in the prairies. The event was curated by Jae Sterling and will feature performances by KTheChosen, Priscille Bukasa, Uyemi and Zaire Ink.
5. Calgary Public library presents: Mental Health of Black Canadians and Black Immigrants in Alberta
February 28, 2022
5:00pm - 7:00 p.m
Drawing on multiple data sets, this presentation will highlight how racism, income, community belonging and other determinants contribute to the mental health of Black Canadians and Immigrants with a focus on Alberta. Presented by Dr. Bukola Salami, an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta.