Community Outreach | College of Arts

Community Outreach

The Black Canadian Studies Minor builds on a history of courses taught at the University of Guelph that attend to the lives, voices, and stories of Black Canadians. Community partners in the past have included:


In Fall 2018, students worked with the Guelph Black Heritage Society to produce the project Tracing Absence and Presence in Black Canadian Writing and Art in Guelph and Beyond. This collaboration resulted in the creation of the exhibit The Black Past in Guelph. The project was relaunched in Fall 2021 with multi-media stories of Black life, culture, and community in Guelph/Wellington County in February 2021.

In Fall 2020, students conducted research for the Guelph Black Heritage Society, on the subject of the Great War as Founding Narrative: National Identity, Racial Unrest, and Collective Memory in Canadian Literature and Culture. This resulted in the production of a short film on Black volunteers from Guelph who served in World War One (1.4k views on YouTube). 

In Spring 2021, eight students’ articles were published in a special issue on “Black Voices” for the Guelph Historical Society’s journal Historic Guelph. These articles all built upon research done in collaboration with the GBHS, Guelph Museums, and the Guelph Historical Society,

In Winter 2020 in collaboration with the Black Brilliance Initiative, the Guelph Black Students Association, and the Guelph Black Heritage Society, students produced two conference presentations on collaborative learning in arts, diversity, and inclusion for the Teaching and Learning Innovations conference and Black Canadian Studies Association conference. 

In addition, students have participated in field placements and internships with Black community organizations. For example, the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) provides BIPOC students with the opportunity to develop their skills as researchers and fosters their sense of confidence as scholars by emphasizing the importance of community for building, shaping, and inspiring BIPOC students’ confidence in academic spaces, campus leadership, and professional environments. In 2019, SURE scholars travelled to Halifax, where they were placed at several Black Canadian organizations: 

  • The Africville Museum: a museum dedicated to remembering the story of Africville and to recognizing its contributions to Canadian and specifically African diasporic history.
  • Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute: a leading provincial and national centre of knowledge and research on Africentric theories and practices that improve educational outcomes and inform policy about African Canadian/Nova Scotian learners from preschool and through college and adult education.  
  • Hope Blooms: a community organization that uses innovative agricultural and culinary programs to engage Black youths to become change agents, positively impacting the community by creating urban gardens that have long term impact in food security, education, social inclusion, and disrupting the cycle of poverty.
  • Imhotep’s Legacy Academy: an innovative university-community partnership that mobilizes university/college students, faculty, and community leaders to help improve student success and bridges the academic gap for Grade 6-12 students of African heritage in Nova Scotia. ILA trains and supports university/college students to play powerful roles in the lives of its participants through the building of self-confidence, self-discipline, and the mastery of concepts related to scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) fields.

Students shared their experience on The Black Power Hour, a radio show that offers incarcerated Nova Scotians’ education over the airwaves.  

Fall 2018 The Black Past in Guelph: Remembered and Reclaimed - Guelph Black Heritage Society


For more information on the University's Anti-Racism Action Plan:

For more information on the University of Guelph's Black Students Association: