Event ignites indigenous and black student activists at George Brown College

Left to right: SA Aboriginal representative Coty Zachariah with campaigns staff Nik-Keisha Moodie and Shana Kealey at the Ignite: empowering the next generation of black activism. Photo: Tina Todaro/The Dialog

Left to right: SA Aboriginal representative Coty Zachariah with campaigns staff Nik-Keisha Moodie and Shana Kealey at Ignite: empowering the next generation of black activism. Photo: Tina Todaro/The Dialog

The Community Action Centre at George Brown College (GBC) hosted Ignite: Empowering the next generation of black activists on Feb. 12, an event to celebrate black history and to raise awareness among students on issues surrounding different cultures.

Mahlikha Aweri, an artist and activist working with indigenous and inner-city youth; with GBC graduate and author of The Flip, Francis Atta spoke about inspiration and motivation through their personal stories.

Shana Kealey, a Student Association campaigns staff member said, “We wanted to offer a cross-section of speakers, so we wanted to speak to intersections of social movements with the use of art as a vehicle for youth activism.”

The event included tours, resource displays, documentaries showcasing black empowerment in Toronto as well as Caribbean food.

“You can’t create history if you don’t know your own history,” said Aweri.

Speakers discussed Black and Aboriginal cultures with students, incorporating newcomer experiences, intersectional views and perspectives from both women and men.

Ignite also saw participation by children which was important according to Kealey as they represented the next generation.

“There’s a lot of events that have taken place at the college since the start of February, but we as the campaigns staff felt that there wasn’t an event that tried to touch and inspire students,” said campaigns staffer Nik-Keisha Moodie. “We felt there was a start, but no continuation.”

Planning on hosting other events at the college, Moodie said, “things always pop up in the community that we take into account.”

Ignite informed, motivated and inspired black and indigenous activists at GBC.

 

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Event ignites indigenous and black student activists at George Brown College