Three speakers focus on black resilience, education and activism

York’s School of Social Work celebrates Black History Month by presenting three speakers on race-related topics Feb. 28 in Founders Dining Hall from 7 to 9pm.

  • David Divine, who holds the James Robinson Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, will speak about resilience and social exclusion in the black community;
  • Carl James, professor of education and social work at York, will discuss the place of race in the context of education; and
  • Akua Benjamin, director of Ryerson University’s School of Social Work, will talk about the role of activism in the black community.

Divine is a graduate of Edinburgh University, Asto University (Birmingham, UK) and the London School of Economics. He has occupied senior positions in social work administration and education, and social housing in the United Kingdom. He has 20 years experience working with the most disadvantaged communities at practitioner, policy and academic levels. Divine’s research interests include community development in impoverished areas, social housing, community healthcare, communal and personal resilience, social exclusion, black and ethnic male sexuality and AIDS/HIV, international comparative studies, service delivery, and education and training.

James is a member of York’s Faculty of Education and his research is focused on equity in education pertaining to ethnicity, race, social class and gender; anti-racism and multicultural education; urban education; practitioner research; youth and sport; and community development through social work. At the international level, he is interested in immigration and minority issues, and regional integration in the Caribbean.

Benjamin has taught courses on community practice, group work, anti-oppression and human diversity, ethnic diversity and social issues, intercultural communication, and families in the Caribbean. Her research interests and community work are in the areas of anti-racism, crime, feminism, equity, anti-oppression, human rights and other related social justice issues. She is a member of the management team of a five-year, federally funded project examining the impact of racism, violence and health on African Canadians and their families.

This event is co-sponsored by the Master of Social Work Program, School of Social Work; York University Faculty Association’s Equity Committee: Anti-Racist Research & Practice (CARRP) Certificate: the Atkinson School of Social Sciences; and the Dean’s Office at Atkinson.