The Black History Month Committee at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is organizing a variety of events in honour of Black History Month for students to partake in this year.
The committee consists of a collaboration between the University of Toronto Mississauga Student Union (UTMSU), Black Students’ Association, Somali Students Association, Caribbean Connections, African Student Association, Black Literature Club, Mental Health Student Association, as well as other Black groups at UTM.
The theme for this year is Melanin in a Millennium. With an emphasis on Black success, the theme is set to reflect the future of all Black voices.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Black History Month Committee recognizes the importance of student health and safety. For this reason, all events will be hosted virtually for students apart from free brunches. In each event, participants have a chance of winning prizes from Black-owned businesses.
The Opening Ceremony is set to take place on February 1 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The ceremony will host a previous crowd favourite activity known as Spectrum. In this pursuit, participants will be asked controversial questions where they can choose to agree or disagree. The event is only open for Black-identifying students.
On February 7, the committee will introduce 12 Jurors, a virtual mock trial event that will cover high-profile and racially unjust cases. The trial will also feature a guest speaker that will discuss real-life issues affecting Black people and will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On February 14, the committee will be hosting an interactive event in light of Valentine’s Day called Love, Sex, and Relationships. The annual event will enable students to participate in an open discussion regarding relationships and controversial topics. This event will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be open to all students.
My Roots My Foundation is another event set to take place on February 17 at 6:30 p.m. and will allow students to gauge their field of interest and network. The event will feature a Black group of panellists who will share their experiences in the workplace while answering any questions students might have about post-graduation opportunities.
Taking place during UTM’s reading week on February 24, Sip and Paint will be an exam de-stressor hosted by an artist of the Black community. The virtual gathering will begin at 6 p.m., where students can register to get a free art kit available in the Student Centre prior to the event.
Free brunch is also another initiative the committee is hosting on the last day of the month, February 28. While quantities last, students will be able to visit UTM’s Student Centre at 12 p.m. and receive free servings of food. The event will showcase a wide range of Black cultural dishes and bring students together for an interactive meal.
Lastly, the Closing Ceremony is planned for the same day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is planned to resemble a midnight jazz cafe, complete with Black performers and virtual karaoke.
The Zoom registration links to all these events can be found on UTMSU’s Instagram page, @MyUTMSU along with more details.
In commemoration of Black History Month, these in-person and virtual events provide a safe space for Black students to gather and share their experiences. Being a marginalized group, it is especially important for students and faculty to celebrate and recognize the achievements of Black individuals.