Kacia Whilby sings during the 2023 Black Faculty and Staff Caucus Black History Month Gala celebration. This year’s gala will take place on Feb. 29. (Photo: Dave Stobbe/USask)
Kacia Whilby sings during the 2023 Black Faculty and Staff Caucus Black History Month Gala celebration. This year’s gala will take place on Feb. 29. (Photo: Dave Stobbe/USask)

Learning, honouring, and uplifting: USask wraps up Black History Month celebrations

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) community came together in droves to celebrate Black History Month this year.

Black History Month at USask featured more than 25 events organized and hosted by various colleges, schools, units, and departments on campus.

A myriad of learning resources was shared across campus online and in-person. All month long, anyone who visited the USask campus was able to walk through the Bowl after sundown or before sunrise and find the Peter MacKinnon Building lit in celebratory green, red and yellow lights.

“As a U15 university in Canada with an aspiration to be what the world needs, we recognize that our campus, our province, and our country have a duty to support and uplift the Black community in Canada and beyond,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff in a Black History Month reflection at the beginning of February. “USask remains committed to building a more inclusive future for all.”

The 2024 theme for Black History Month at USask.
The 2024 theme for Black History Month at USask.

The campus community also had a chance to get to know students, staff, and faculty working to support the Black community at USask and beyond, like Fisayo Moibi, a College of Kinesiology master’s student and student-athlete with Huskie Athletics, and Lecia Ellis, who is earning a PhD in educational administration while supporting students in the International Student and Study Abroad Centre. A series of Black students also introduced the campus community to how they build wellness and joy into their everyday lives through a unique photo gallery project. More Black History Month stories and profiles can be found at news.usask.ca.

Highlights from Black History Month 2024

  • After a successful run in 2023, this year’s Black History Month celebrations featured four days of culinary events hosted by USask Culinary Services. Held at Marquis Culinary Centre, each event featured a unique menu highlighting the rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine of the African diaspora. These events had more than 1,000 visitors throughout the month of February.
  • Building on momentum from 2022 and 2023, the Provost’s Book Club was also back for another year, featuring three meetings highlighting and discussing readings from the The Black Prairie Archives: An Anthology, edited by Karina Vernon, with one of the three sessions facilitated by the editor. Participants discussed their thoughts and interpretations of each reading in inspiring dialogue as the group explored multiple time periods in history.
  • New to Black History Month celebrations in 2024 was a special screening of National Geographic’s documentary The Space Race, hosted in collaboration with USask and the Canadian Black Scientists Network. The Space Race uncovers the little-known stories of the first Black pilots, engineers, and scientists who became astronauts. This event was organized by USask Black Faculty and Staff Caucus representative and College of Medicine professor Dr. Erique Lukong (PhD).
  • A unique poetry and performance workshop series was also facilitated by local award-winning interdisciplinary poet, Peace Akintade. The series was co-ordinated by the College of Medicine and the University Library, and offered two poetry-writing workshops throughout February that focused on metaphors, storytelling, and personification. Participants were also invited to contribute to a larger collaborative creative process to showcase a final art piece in the second workshop.
  • Student groups also organized independent programming available for the campus community to take part in, including movie nights, discussion panels, and a gala celebration.
  • A full list of all the activities that took place this year and community resources available to the campus community can be found at usask.ca.

This year’s Black History Month festivities will conclude with a celebration gala hosted by the USask Black Faculty and Staff Caucus on Feb. 29. The event will feature authentic Afro-Caribbean food and a performance by music artist Sonia Reid. Everyone is welcome to attend.

To find information about important initiatives, events and featured stories from across campus about Black History Month and other topics, visit spotlight.usask.ca throughout the year.

Together we will support and inspire students to succeed. We invite you to join by supporting current and future students' needs at USask.