Harriet Tubman Institute kicks off Black History Month series at York

Black History Month logo banner
Black History Month logo banner

The Harriet Tubman Institute will host opening ceremonies on Feb. 2 as York University faculty, staff and students from across each campus prepare for a series of events celebrating Black History Month.

As part of Black History Month 2023, the Harriet Tubman Institute has curated a comprehensive program of guest speakers and seminars running from Feb. 2 to 28.

See the full details and registration links below and look out for more Black History Month events in YFile throughout February.

The Harriet Tubman Institute presents: Black History Month 2023

Opening Ceremony honouring Winston LaRose
Date and time: Feb. 2 from noon to 2 p.m.
Location: virtual

Winaton LaRose portrait
Winston LaRose

Winston LaRose is the executive director of the Jane-Finch Concerned Citizens Organization (JFCCO) and has worked in this capacity since January 1999. He was a registered nurse in Canada from 1964 until his retirement in 2002. Most of his professional work has been as a psychotherapeutic counsellor in the mental health field at the Clarke Institute and several other mental health facilities in Toronto, Burlington and Hamilton. Additionally, he’s operated Fairview Counselling Services in Burlington for approximately five years.

Opening ceremony guest speakers include: Sheila Cote-Meek, vice-president of equity, people and culture, Rosemary Sadlier, Cheryl Prescod, Gervan Fearon, Gwyn Chapman and Kofi N. Hope.

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Honouring Rosemary Sadlier in collaboration with the Glendon Caucus d’Équité Raciale-Race Equity Caucus
Date and time: Feb. 9 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Location: Hyflex Room, York Hall A302, York University Glendon Campus

Rosemary Sadlier close-up portrait
Rosemary Sadlier

Rosemary Sadlier is a York graduate, a member of the Order of Ontario, a social justice advocate, researcher, writer, EDI consultant and international speaker on Black history, anti-racism and women’s issues. As an educator, she has developed or contributed to African Canadian curricula, resources, national exhibits and she is an appointed member of a regulatory board of the Ontario College of Teachers. Sadlier is dedicated to social justice and, using the frame of Black history, seeks to educate and empower others.

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Calypso as Music of Resistance in collaboration with the Organization of Calypso Performing Artists (OCPA)
Date and time: Feb. 16 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Location: 314 York Lanes, York University Keele Campus

Henry Gomez performing with a microphone
Henry Gomez

Featuring presenters Henry Gomez and Roger Gibbs, also known as King Cosmos and Rajiman.

Gomez is a lifelong learner and educator, having been nominated for teacher of the year while working for the Toronto District School Board. He holds an MFA in theatre and a BA in English, both from York University, he obtained his BEd from the University of Toronto.

Roger Gibb performing with an acoustic guitar
Roger Gibb

Gibbs is a Calypso and Caribbean acoustic singer, guitarist and recording artist, originally from Barbados. He was a performing member of the Collective of Black Artists (COBA) from 1995 to 2013, one of Canada’s leading dance and theatre companies. Gibbs has released a number of solo and ensemble albums and was awarded by the Toronto Caribbean Carnival in 2013 for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Calypso in Canada.

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Implications of Colonialism for Disease Outbreak Response in Black Communities
Date and time: Feb. 28 from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Location: virtual

Harris Ali
Harris Ali

Harris Ali is a professor in the Department of Sociology at York University whose research focuses on how the interplay of social, political and environmental factors promote the emergence of disease outbreaks and environmental disasters, as well as how this interplay influences the response to such phenomena.

Yvonne Simpson York University
Yvonne Simpson

Yvonne Simpson earned her PhD from the Faculty of Health Policy Management’s Critical Disability Studies program. As a graduate student, her research focused on human rights and social justice in the context of the historiography of transnational forced migration, including the Atlantic Slave Trade.

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