McLaughlin College marks Black History Month with symposium and photo exhibit

A McLaughlin College symposium celebrating Black History Month will be held at York University on Feb. 7 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Titled “The Importance of Strategic Alliances for Canada’s Human Rights Movement,” the symposium will feature a panel discussion by two celebrated Canadians about their intersecting histories and experiences in the struggle to eliminate discrimination: Arthur C. Downes, a retired justice of the peace and honorary consul of the Republic of Guinea; and Morley S. Wolfe, a retired justice of the peace and former Chair of the League for Human Rights, B’nai Brith. The event will be moderated by Lorne Foster, a professor in the Department of Equity Studies at York University and the faculty co-chair of Race Inclusion & Supportive Environments (RISE).

The symposium will examine the history of strategic alliances that emerged in the struggle for human rights and racial inclusion, acknowledging the intersecting histories and experiences of many equity-seeking groups, especially from the Black and Jewish communities.

Guest panellists will recount their roles and work in advancing human rights policies and programs that have provided greater protection to racialized groups experiencing prejudice and grave incidents of discrimination.

The event has been planned to commemorate a celebratory month of Black excellence. It will highlight the ambitious and audacious alliances that changed the course of human rights advocacy in this province.

The event will also mark the official launch of the award-winning photo exhibit Many Rivers to Cross: The African-Canadian Experience, which is open for viewing from Feb. 4 to 28, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the McLaughlin College Art Gallery, 001 McLaughlin College.

The exhibit presents audiences with images and “an impression of the place that those of African descent have long occupied in the Canadian mosaic.” It addresses themes of immigration, culture, the struggle for justice and work, all in the context of a complex and supportive community life.

Brought to York by the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, the exhibit examines immigration, culture, struggles for justice, work and community among people of African descent living in Canada.

The event is sponsored by McLaughlin College, the Centre for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion, and the RISE Sub-Committee of the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights.

All are welcome to attend.