Cultural Diversity Programs and Events
We offer intentionally designed programming, events, and environments for students to engage in meaningful cultural dialogue, learn to navigate complex environments and expand the understanding of racial and ethnic diversity on campus through a social justice lens.
The University of Guelph's Cultural Diversity Office and Experiential Learning Hub, Wilfrid Laurier University's Centre for Student Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and University of Toronto Scarborough's Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Office present:
Love and Liberation: Blueprints for a BIPOC Future with Keynote Robyn Maynard
Love and Liberation is a series of workshops and discussions that centre BIPOC student experiences as we develop concrete strategies for change within and between our communities. The Conference will bring together community leaders, activists, and those engaged in practices of liberation who will invite BIPOC students to deconstruct current realities while providing tools and resources for building an anti-racist future.
Participants will have the opportunity to choose from 10 interactive online dialogues that explore various themes including cultivating food justice, navigating racialized trauma, building Black and Indigenous solidarity, celebrating Black love, engaging in transformative justice and more.
Following the workshops, we welcome participants to engage in a wellness session led by anti-racist educator Selam Debs, who will guide us in a practice to embody movement and center our well-being as we engage in this work of decolonization.
Keynote | Looking Back to Look Forward: Beyond Police and Policing with Robyn Maynard
The conference will feature a keynote address by activist and author Robyn Maynard that explores the legacy of racialized violence in Canada and advocates a vision for a Black feminist and abolitionist future. Through critical dialogue and information-sharing, the Love and Liberation Conference will empower participants to develop sustainable approaches to driving systemic and intersectional change.
Event Schedule (EDT):
- 12pm-5pm – Conference Sessions and Debrief/Wellness Session
- 6pm-7pm – Keynote by Robyn Maynard
BIPOC Networking Event
The BIPOC Networking (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) Event is an opportunity for students and professionals to come together for an evening of networking and community building. The BIPOC Networking Event happens in the Fall and Winter Semesters as a means of highlighting representation on, and beyond the campus.
Find out about upcoming events by visiting the Cultural Diversity Office on GryphLife.ca.
BIPOC Student Social
A social event held semesterly for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) students. Students have the opportunity to become familiar with resources, services, and identity-based student groups on campus in a cozy setting at the 5th, an on-campus restaurant. Cultural groups have the chance to connect with first-year students and share information about their clubs and any upcoming events.
Every February, Canada participates in Black History Month. During Black History Month, we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians throughout history, who have made countless contributions to the growth and development of Canada including towards the ongoing advancement of human rights. Some of featured events include Internationally acclaimed guest speakers, workshops, events and performances.
Each year we kickoff the month with an opening ceremony and musical performance. Throughout the month we host a number of events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians including keynote speeches, educational workshops, concerts, tribute shows, and poetry slams. In 2019, we ended Black History Month with a conerstone event, Freedom is a Constant Struggle: A Talk with Angela Davis, which you can watch HERE!
Black History Month events are typically announced in early January, so you can check out the exciting events and activities happening throughout February by visiting GryphLife.ca.
Planning for the month is led by the Black History Month Planning Committee which includes a number of on- and off-campus partners:
- Guelph Black Students Association (GBSA)
- Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS)
- Queer Trans People of Colour (QTPOC)
- Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Empowerment and Diversity (GRCGED)
- Guelph Queer Equality (GQE)
- Muslim Student Association (MSA)
- Cultural Diversity Office (CDO), Student Experience
- Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG)
- The Making Box
- Guelph Poetry Slam
CORE is a mentorship program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) students at the University of Guelph. CORE pairs upper-year (second year and above) BIPOC students with a BIPOC professional, staff or faculty in an area of the student’s interest to support students with building meaningful connections, developing a strong social and professional network, and establishing a community on campus and in Guelph broadly. Click here to learn more about CORE.
Documentary Screening & Discussion Series
Our Documentary Screening & Discussion Series highlights the lived experiences of marginalized identities and communities in Canada. The purpose is to highlight the unique experiences of issues in areas that directly affect us (challenging the focus on climates outside of Canada). Events conclude with a discussion with the director or producer of the featured work.
To date we have featured the following films:
- Shadeism by Nayani Thiyagarajah
- The Akua Benjamin Legacy Project (5 films by Executive Producer, Alison Duke)
- It Takes a Riot by Howard Grandison
- Walk Good & Lessons: Injustice by Karen Chapman
- Crossing Bridges by Rama Luksiarto
- The 5th Region by Gabriel Nuraki Koperqualu & Aeyliya Husain
- Air Show & Arrival Archives by Maya Bastian
With each screening, we welcome the directors or producers to discuss the themes of the documentary and open a conversation. These discussions have explored:
- Shadeism/colourism within the black community and communities of colour
- Identity growing up under the shadow of the Sixties Scoop and the residential school system
- Sexual identity and expression within South Asian communities
- Stories and experiences that shed light on the refugee experience
Screenings are held twice per semester in the Fall and Winter. The program is free of charge and open to all students, staff, and community members.
Guelph Black Student Association (GBSA) Weekly Discussion
A discussion program where members of the GBSA and students from racialized communities discuss issues of identity, marginalization, and culturally relevant topics.
International Women's Day
On March 8th, the University Guelph celebrates International Women’s Day with countless others across the globe. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements and contributions of women across the world. It also marks a call to action for advancing women’s rights and equality. Along with the celebration of all women, the University of Guelph highlights the experiences, advancement and equality of Black and trans women.
International Day for The Elimination of Racial Discrimination
On March 21st, the University of Guelph observes the UN’s International Day for The Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The UN’s International Day for The Elimination of Racial Discrimination on addressing and removing barriers to equality for People of African descent across the Globe. For more information please visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-racism-day.