Conestoga news

February 10, 2023 11:20 AM

Student welcome event celebrates Black history and heritage

Conestoga's African, Black and Caribbean (ABC) Student Committee hosted a welcome event on February 3 to celebrate Black history and heritage. 

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Conestoga's African, Black and Caribbean (ABC) Student Committee hosted a welcome event on February 3 to celebrate Black history and heritage.

Held at the college's Kitchener - Doon campus, the event was part of orientation activities and developed in consultation with Conestoga's Student Engagement team and community partner eKhaya Specialty Garden. More than 60 students, employees and community members joined the celebration, which included guest speakers and a curated menu of food by Tandi Magama, a 2022 graduate of Conestoga's Culinary Management program and head chef at Tandi's Kitchen.  

"ABC’s 2023 welcome and Black history event celebrated the stories of Conestoga Black students and local communities,” said Chiamaka Obiora, student ambassador peer inclusion leader - ABC initiatives at Conestoga. “We shared our histories, successes, sacrifices and triumphs. I felt like I was developing a sense of community with ABC student leaders and community organizations in attendance.”

The event also featured a poetry reading from Conestoga professor Marlon Delano Nagle; a discussion about food and Black identity with Teneile Warren; a conversation with Councillor Ayo Owodunni about their journey as an immigrant to Kitchener; and presentations from the Afro-Caribbean Black Wellness Support Group (CMHA Waterloo-Wellington) and Nigerians in the Region of Waterloo.

Several events at Conestoga and throughout the community are planned to celebrate Black History Month, including an ABC drop-in session at the Kitchener - Downtown campus on February 15. In addition, student leaders have gathered a list of available resources for the Conestoga community and African, Caribbean and Black-identifying students to help navigate support.  

The ABC Student Committee provides opportunities for leadership growth, personal and professional network building, and community belonging. Participation on the committee provides Black-identifying Conestoga student leaders with co-curricular experience. Supported by a student ambassador - peer inclusion leader, the committee plans, organizes and leads Black history and welcome events at the college.  

Conestoga's Student Engagement team meets the needs of students through innovative programming designed to achieve goals with learning outcomes-based initiatives, including the Co-Curricular Record; Orientation; equity, diversity and inclusion education and programming; the Leadership Workshop series; and various student volunteer and committee opportunities.