Black History Month

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021

Black History Month 2021

February is Black History Month. This is a time for the Faculty of Arts to honour the richness and diversity of contributions of Black people in Canada and around the world. It is also a chance for us to reflect on the challenges that have been, and continue to be faced by the Black community, and how we can work together to build a better future for everyone.

The Faculty of Arts is pleased to invite you to celebrate Black History Month by participating in lectures, workshops and events throughout the month of February. Here’s a sample:

Njoki Wane

Njoki Wane

January 25, 2021

Webinar/Workshop “Creating a safe, inclusive classroom for both students and professors”

This webinar/workshop, hosted by Dr. Njoki Wane, Professor and Chair, Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), starts with the premise that we are all learners, i.e. active participants within a circle of mutuality. We will first focus on what a circle of mutuality means and entails, but more importantly on what it should look like in a university classroom and how it fosters a climate of respect for both students and professors. We will see that by equipping ourselves with a greater knowledge and understanding of inclusion and anti-Black racism, we are in a better position to reflect on our own pedagogy. Ultimately, the goal is to help us build and put into action practices that engage students safely and respectfully, all the while remaining authentic as educators.

Thank you to everyone who attended!


January 28, 2021

Webinar/Workshop: “Addressing Identity and Sensitive Issues in an Inclusive Climate”

This workshop-webinar by Maryse Potvin, Full Professor, Sociology of Education, UQAM, aims to encourage reflection on some of the knowledge, know-how and life skills to be mobilized in order to address sensitive questions in an inclusive climate in today’s university classroom. Knowledge is at once historical, sociological and legal and it addresses issues related to racism, epistemic injustice and unequal power relations (majorities-minorities) in the production of identities. Know-how concerns practices that create an inclusive and favourable climate for dialogue from a critical perspective. Finally, life skills refers to reflexivity, decency, empathy, dialogue and recognition of the voices of minority groups.

Thank you to everyone who attended!


From January 26 to February 23, 2021

The Faculty of Arts invites you to participate in NOIRES AMERIQUES: Conversations Literaires, a series of five online literary encounters with renowned authors from the Americas. Each meeting will be unique, frank and authentic and will be hosted by the author and publisher, Rodney Saint-Éloi. The goal of these literary encounters is to promote the values of inclusion and dialogue and to help discover the richness and diversity of francophone literature in the Americas.


Lilian Thuram, Guadeloup

January 26, noon 

La condition noire, la jeunesse, le racisme et le football (soccer)


Patrick Chamoiseau, Martinique

February 2, 6 p.m.

Les Amériques créoles et la manière de penser et de combattre le racism


Chloé Savoie-Bernard, Quebec, Canada

February 9, 6 p.m. 

Écrits de femmes, du féminisme, du racisme au Québec et de l’immigration


Alain Mabanckou, California, USA

February 16, 6 p.m. 

La vie entre l’Europe et l’Amérique et l’écriture actuelle sur le racisme


Emmelie Prophète, Haiti

February 23, 6 p.m. 

L’enfance créole, la condition des femmes et la littérature haïtienne.


The NOIRES AMÉRIQUES : Conversations Literaires is presented by the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques and the Alliance française de Chicago. The conversations are free of charge and will be in French.

For more information on the program and to register, click here.


From February 1 to 28, 2021

Canadian BIPOC Artists Rolodex

The Department of Visual Arts is launching a new research project - the Canadian BIPOC Artists Rolodex. Founded and directed by Professor Jinny Yu, the project acts as both a pedagogical and research tool for identifying Canadian BIPOC artists. As the first of its kind, the compendium seeks to promote diversity and inclusion in visual arts’ research while assisting in continuing efforts to decolonize our curriculum.

The project will be a living database that covers Canadian BIPOC artists from the 19th century to the present. Currently, Drs Celina Jeffery (Department of Visual Arts) and Ming Tiampo (Carleton University) and uOttawa librarians Roxanne Lafleur, Ann Hemingway and Susan Mowers are involved in the project. 

More information coming soon!


From February 1 to 28, 2021

The Laboratoire de recherche sur les cultures et les littératures francophones du Canada (Labo CLFC) is pleased to suggest five Franco-Ontarian works to read for Black History Month (in alphabetical order): 

  1. Cantate pour un soleil libre ou Avec tes mots d’Angèle Bassolé-Ouédraogo (2003), prix Trillium; rencontre avec l’autrice :;
  2. Toronto, je t’aime de Didier Leclair (2000), prix Trillium; sur l’auteur : dauteurs/6-questions-didier-leclair
  3. Le dernier roi faiseur de pluie de Melchior Mbonimpa (2003), Prix de littérature éclairée du Nord; sur l’auteur :;
  4. Sans capote ni Kalachnikov de Blaise Ndala (2017), prix littéraire Émergence de l’AAOF, gagnant du Combat des livres de Radio-Canada; sur l’auteur :
  5. Hubert, le restavèk de Gabriel Osson (2017), finaliste au Prix littéraire Christine-Dimitriu- van-Saanen; sur l’auteur :


Sunday, February 7, 2021

Meet the Makers. Afrotechture is a multi-platform experience where consumers can discover and shop for highly curated, artisanal goods made by local Black Artisans. 


Monday, February 8, 2021

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

STUDENT EVENT - A Conversation with César Ndéma-Moussa

Description: In this virtual conversation, Cesar Ndéma-Moussa will engage in an authentic and meaningful chat with members of our university community – as they explore questions of racism and inclusion.

Bio: César Ndéma-Moussa, President Roots and, Eastern Ontario/Regional Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity (Child Welfare) comes with a long standing record of community advocacy with the Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton (CESOC), a former member of the Ottawa Police Service's community equity council (CEC), a member of Youth Ottawa Charity, former president of the Caribbean Union of Canada, and a member of the board at the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region. Cesar has facilitated workshops on Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism for over a decade.

The invitation was sent to your student email address or register here.

This event will be in both English and French.


Tuesday, February 9, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Celebrating Blackness in Literature 
Mante Molepo (she/her)

Description: In this virtual workshop, participants will explore approaches to honour and celebrate Black voices in literature. They will examine how anti-Black racism manifests within storytelling, and an anti-racist approach to selecting literature. Participants will explore how one's racial identify informs the way in which we see the world, and why we are drawn to certain narratives. Through an interactive workshop, participants will learn to challenge dominant narratives and texts, understand intersectionality in storytelling, and techniques to select and teach diverse and inclusive children and young adult texts.

Bio: Mante Molepo is an anti-racism consultant and award-winning community leader. She works with governments, non-profits and companies to foster equitable working and learning environments where everyone feels included and valued. Mante has worked with the Ottawa Catholic School Board, Scholastic and other organizations to curate thousands of books celebrating Black voices. She is also a founding member and Director of Parents for Diversity, an organization committed to addressing discrimination in the education system, as well as a Director for Amnesty International Canada and the Parkdale Food Centre. In 2020, Mante was recognized as a Community Builder by the United Way, and as one of Canada’s 100 Accomplished Black Women in 2018.

This event will be presented in English.

Register Here:


Friday, February 12, 2021

11 a.m. to noon

Qu’est-ce qu’être blanc? Plus qu’une couleur de peau, n’est-ce pas plutôt une pensée? Qui sont ceux qui l’ont inventée, et pourquoi?

The Faculty of Arts, in collaboration with the publishing house Mémoire d'encrier, invites you to a discussion between Lilian Thuram, author of La pensée blanche (2020) and President of the Foundation Lilian Thuram | Éducation contre le racisme, and Boulou Ebanda de B'béri, professor in the Department of Communication and Special Advisor on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence at the University of Ottawa. Register


Thursday, February 18, 2021

7 p.m.

Participate in this Ottawa Public Library event with an Outaouais writer, Guy Bélizaire and two Franco-Ontarian writers, Didier Leclair and Gabriel Osson: Perspectives on Afro-Canadian and Francophone Literature, February 18, 7 p.m., online in French.

For information and to register.


César Ndéma-Moussa

César Ndéma-Moussa


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Conference on Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI)

Description: In this virtual conference, César will explore the roots of anti-black racism and other forms of racism, discuss the impact of EDI initiatives, and challenge audience members to take a leadership role in the fight against racism.

Bio: César Ndéma-Moussa, President of Roots and Culture Canada, and the Eastern Ontario Regional Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusivity at the Children's Aid Society comes with a long-standing record of community advocacy with the Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton (CESOC), a former member of the Ottawa Police Community Equity Council (CEC), a member of the charity Youth Ottawa, former President of the Caribbean Union of Canada, and a member of the board at the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region. César is a pan-Africanist conferencier who has facilitated workshops on Diversity, Inclusivity and Anti-Racism for over a decade.

This event will be in both English and French.

Register Here


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

​Poetry Event: Celebrating Black Excellence 

Pearline Barrett-Fraser (she/her), also known as Pearl is currently doing her Master’s of Art in Education (Studies for Teaching & Learning). Pearl works as a teacher for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), and is pursing her passion for education and dance while working with the Luv2Groove Dance Education Company. Her research focus is on teaching Hip-hop dance online. She hopes to encourage physical literacy in a culturally relevant way that keeps students active, engaged and authentic by connecting oneself with the culture of community. Pearl’s piece will reflect on her experiences of being a Black educator and her struggle to find her place. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she has experienced a series of situations she deems as a Canadian Culture shock. You will hear about her journey to feel accepted and valued, but also her triumph of finding comfort in the truth.

Ches (she/her) is a digital media activist, digital anti-colonial socialpreneur, independent scholar, & global thought leader on anti-oppression as healing, industrial innovation, and positive disruption. This is a multi-lingual piece centering a Queered Blackness where language is the fabric of untaming & self-determining as elements of healing and Black liberation. Language is used to situate us into different legacies of resistance where daring is the one choice that makes risk safer than silence. The multi-linguality is a way to make otherness audible, palpable, and pivotal, it is a resistance made vocally manifestable and vocally defining.

Lydie Masengo (she/her) is a student in the Master’s of Arts Education in Counselling Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. Her thesis explores self-care practices and the framework that she will be drawing from includes her counselling practice is multicultural, culturally-responsive and anti-oppressive. Aside from psychology, she enjoys poetry, volunteering, nature walks, deep conversations, good music, dancing, comedy and, of course, scrolling through funny animal videos. The poem “Closed wound, Healing scar” shares one account of Lydie’s lived experience of racism through the context of education, how it has negatively impacted her, but also how she chooses to refuse and resist the confinement that is imposed on her from being a Black child to now as a Black adult. She intends to shed light on the reality of our lived experiences and to encourage Indigenous, Black, People of Colour to be who we are, unapologetically, to believe in ourselves and be in positions of leadership to pave the way for our future generations. Confuse the system! Shock the system!

Register Here:

This event will be in both English and French.


Laurena Fineus

Photo courtesy of Francois Mittins

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Invited Artist’s Talk: Laurena Fineus

Laurena Finéus is a Caribbean-Canadian visual artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa. Her approach involves a gradual layering of paint that emulates texture with an array of rippling and dense landscapes. She explores representations of Haiti and its archives, the third-space and pan-africanism, and is informed by her black, female identity. Finéus’ lived experiences are centered in each of her pieces in order to create safe spaces that engage her key audience — the Haitian diaspora . Through a reconstruction of the fragmented history of the Caribbean she aims to demonstrate the complexity of its people.

Photo credit : Laurena Fineus

Information coming soon!


From February 1 to 28, 2021

The Théâtre français de Toronto (TfT) and the Consulate General of France in Toronto have chosen to present four short videos to celebrate Black History Month. This February, discover or rediscover the words and poems of artists who, time and time again, push the limits of our horizons and transgress borders: Suzy Ronel (Guadeloupe), Simané Wenethem (New-Caledonia), Djennie Laguerre (Canada, Haiti) et Berekyah Yergeau (Canada, French Guiana). 

Joël Beddows, professor at the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa and outgoing artistic director of TfT, is responsible for the conception and artistic direction of the capsules. The selection of artists is international and none other than Djennie Laguerre, a freelance artist based in Toronto and a graduate of the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa, represents Canada.

Watch the videos (in French)

Read the new release from TfT

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