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UG Black Student Conference returns to UoG

June 3, 2024

GUELPH, ON – Last week, students from Black Chapter groups across the Upper Grand DSB gathered at the University of Guelph (UoG) for their annual conference. 

This year, more than 160 attendees from each UG secondary school were present for this year’s conference, for which the theme was ‘Enough Misconceptions: Allow us to Reintroduce Ourselves.’  There were four workshops to go along with this year’s theme, as well as a professional development workshop for educators.

Throughout the morning students rotated through each of the workshops: ‘Tapestries of Culture: A Celebration of African Fabrics’ – which discussed Afro-Caribbean textiles and fabrics as a cultural expression; ‘Soul Sounds’ – which discussed the historical context and history of musical genres that stemmed from music in Africa and the diaspora; ‘Uzuri: Reawakening the Beauty of Our Ancestry’ – which discussed the history of beauty standards in the African diaspora; and lastly ‘Rooted in Rhythm’ which was a study in Afro-Caribbean dance. 

Each year the conference has grown students and staff find incredible value in the content they learn and in the experience they have. “The vision is to promote a strong sense of community and pride among Black-identified students by promoting Black experiences and empowering Black student voices,” said Centre Dufferin DHS teacher, Terry-Ann Spencer. 

Guelph CVI teacher, Natalie Brown said that she hopes students walk away from the conference with the “deeper understandings of their culture and history and are able to use that knowledge to empower themselves and those around them.” 

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