York’s Athletics & Recreation celebrates Black History Month

Athletics & Recreation banner for Black History Month

York University is considered a leading Canadian post-secondary institution that values diversity and inclusivity. With a long history of academic research creating positive change, student engagement and inclusive initiatives around the culture of Black-Canadians, the University is proud to celebrate its community and highlight the many events taking place during Black History Month. Below are the events and series organized and hosted by York’s Department of Athletics & Recreation.

Every Tuesday in February

Black Excellence & Grit Speaker Series

Carl James
Carl James

Professor Carl James
Black Women and Black Men: Their different approaches to sports and academics
Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

Zoom: https://yorku.zoom.us/j/96333344556?pwd=YnBpMUY1a0g0ZFVlalphSS9MczRYQT09

Carl James holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora in the Faculty of Education, York University, Toronto, where he is also the senior advisor in equity and representation in the Office of the VP Equity, People and Culture. He holds cross-appointments in the graduate programs in Sociology, and Social & Political Thought. He has published widely on the ways in which race and its intersection with gender, class, citizenship and other identify constructs – mediated by accessible and equitable opportunities – account for the lived experiences and outcomes in education, sport and employment of racialized people, and Black youth particularly. His recent (2021) book is Colour Matters: Essays on the Experiences, Education, and Pursuits of Black Youth.

Cassandra Pascal & Khamica Bingham
Cassandra Pascal and Khamica Bingham

Meet My Melanin with Khamica Bingham and Cassandra Pascale
Underrepresentation in Sport
Feb. 17 at noon

Zoom: https://yorku.zoom.us/j/98678507857?pwd=NlpVQ1NvZVM5eVhZUU8yTXhZU0ovZz09

Meet My Melanin is a brand dedicated to speaking on racial inclusion through conversations to help the minority community be seen, heard and known in all spaces. It is co-founded by Khamica Bingham and Cassandra Pascal. Bingham is a two-time Olympian, six-time CIS Champion, and York alumna who understands the importance of resiliency and overcoming obstacles. Pascal is a human resources professional who is passionate about diversity and inclusion and also is a retired sprinter who competed in the NCAA, CIS and represented Canada as a junior. During the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, they drew on their shared experiences and created Meet My Melanin recognizing the need to uplift the Black community and support impactful conversations in the classroom.

Sheereen Harris
Sheereen Harris

Sheereen Harris
The Science Behind Being a Successful Student-Athlete
Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.

Zoom: https://yorku.zoom.us/j/99698743493?pwd=czNFa1VabUt0V28vanVCUDJWZEdHQT09

Sheereen Harris is a graduate of York’s kinesiology and health science program and is currently a fourth-year PhD candidate at McMaster University specializing in exercise and health psychology. Harris spent five seasons with the Lions on the track and field team (2011-16) and acted as team captain for four years. She competed in the 60m, 300m, 4x200m and 4x400m relays and won seven OUA medals and six CIS medals, including a CIS gold medal in the 300m and a team bronze medal in 2015. Harris was a four-time academic all-Canadian and the recipient of the Bryce M. Taylor Award, Lions Legacy Award, as well as the OUA and CIS female community-service award in 2016.

Every Wednesday in February

Student-athlete profiles 
Over the course of Black History Month, visitors of yorkulions.ca will profile prominent Lions student-athletes of colour through the return of our Student-Athlete Spotlight series. They will discuss the success they’ve achieved both on and off the field of play. 

Black History Month: Rooted and Resilient Celebration  

Friday, Feb. 25 at noon on YouTube Live

The virtual celebration, Rooted & Resilient, is in recognition of Black History Month in Canada. The program for this event includes the following guests:  

  • Rosemary Sadlier was the president of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) from 1993 to 2015. As president, she contributed to the recognition of Black history through education, research and outreach programs. An author, she has researched and written prolifically about Black history and Black-Canadian history. Sadlier is also the recipient of the Order of Ontario, the most prestigious official honour in the Canadian province of Ontario.
  • Winston LaRose is also known as Mr. Jane and Finch. He is a social justice advocate, community activist, and the executive director Jane Finch Concerned Citizens Organization. He will be speaking about what inspires his advocacy work, his core mission within the Jane and Finch community, what advice he has for other people who want to help their communities, and what keeps him going.   
  • Dawn James is a York University alumna who worked in finance and IT management for 25 years. After experiencing career burnout, she founded Publish and Promote in 2010, where she has helped hundreds of people become published authors. James has published eight books on conscious, healthy, and harmonic living, as well as how to find serenity in an often chaotic world, since she is passionate about health and wellness. Visit DawnJames.ca to learn more about her.
  • Simone Walsh is a multi-passionate author, entrepreneur and community activist driven by a deep desire to transform the lives of individuals and provide the tools for them to uproot the blocks that are keeping them from living their best lives.
  • York Gospel Choir: Learn more here.
  • Mark-Anthony Kaye is a Canadian soccer player who currently plays as a midfielder for Los Angeles FC in major league soccer. He is a York University alumni and was an athlete on the York Lions soccer team.
  • Cynthia Appiah is a pilot on the Canadian bobsleigh team. She is a York University alumna and was an athlete on the York Lions Track and Field team.
  • Afro Flow Yoga® infuses electrifying dance movements of the African Diaspora with a meditative yoga sequence of gentle yet powerful stretches.

This celebration takes place Feb. 25 from noon to 1 p.m. on YouTube Live @BHMrootedandresilient, or follow @yorkulions for updates on this important celebration.

Prideshop and Black & Indigenous Varsity Student-Athlete Alliance (BIVSAA) partnership

The Department of Athletics & Recreation will launch a special collection for Black History Month, in collaboration with the York Lions Black & Indigenous Varsity Student-Athlete Alliance. Visit shopyorkulions.ca for more.