On behalf of the UVSS, I want to wish all of UVIC, especially our melanated brothers and sisters, a Happy Black History Month!
To those of us who stand united in this powerful identity, I encourage you to continue to take up space – unapologetically, zealously, and consistently. To this end, we want to give the biggest shout-out to the executive body of the African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA) and the Student of Colour Collective (SOCC) as they work tirelessly to promote Black identity, celebrate black culture, and foster unity among those of us who share this remarkable diasporic bond. We at the UVSS recognize, commend, and extol the work of countless Black scholars who have helped to shape our academic landscape – including the Black faculty of our very own university.
To the UVIC student body, I encourage everyone to join us in celebrating this momentous month and to use this academic and multinational space to attain knowledge on Black history, open your ears to the rich perspectives of Black scholars in your chosen field, ask questions, consider the impact of the Black Canadian community and continue to stand in solidarity with the Black community in spaces that may seek to challenge this solidarity through discrimination.
We recognize that although the Black Lives Matter campaign is no longer at the cultural forefront as it was a few years ago, there is still much work to be done in Black liberation. We want to be a part of that ongoing change as we seek to amplify Black voices, advocate against implicit and explicit racism, and further our understanding of this precious community that is part of the mosaic of our campus.
Let’s celebrate the powerful legacy of this month and all it commemorates. Let us continue to honour the shoulders upon which we stand as we, through our own self-actualization, continue to pave the way forward for those who will come after us.
Gabrielle Miller, UVSS Director-at-Large
In collaboration with the UVSS Executive Team