Members of the York University community are invited to celebrate Black artistic talent during a showcase of performances on Feb. 7, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., when the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora presents Word, Sound, Power: An Annual Celebration of Black Artistic Expression.
The annual event celebrates the rich and diverse world of Black aritistic expression, promising to be a vibrant showcase of talent, creativity and cultural pride.
The event is open to the community and is free to attend. It begins at 5:30 p.m. with a welcome reception in the CIBC Lobby, Accolade East Building at the Keele Campus, and performances will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Tribute communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building.
The event’s land acknowledgement will be provided by Carrington Christmas, a York alumna, who is an Indigenous anti-racist educator and self-described “Aunty Extraordinaire” with Black Scotian-Mi’kmaw and German ancestry.
The ceremony will then be closed with an Afro-Indigenous blessing from Isaac Crosby, an agricultural expert of Ojibwe of Anderdon heritage.
Hosting and providing opening remarks will be Andrea Davis, a professor in the Department of Humanities, who recently received an honorary degree in recognition of her work advancing equity, access and justice in post-secondary education.
Also providing remarks before the performances begin will be Jean Augustine, the first Black woman elected to the Parliament of Canada; Samia Hashi, Ontario regional director of Unifor, which sponsors the event; and Robert Savage, dean of the Faculty of Education.
Among the featured performances this year are:
- solo performances, including song and instruments, dance and spoken word, from students from Greater Toronto Area school boards;
- a performance from the Oscar Peterson Jazz Ensemble;
- a performance from the York University R&B Ensemble;
- a spotlight artistic performance of the evening from Ian Kamau, an artist and designer;
- a performance from the York University Gospel Choir; and
- an Afro-Caribbean dance performance by students from James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic High School in the CIBC Lobby during the welcome reception.
This year’s Word, Sound, Power event is put on in partnership with the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design, with primary sponsorship from Unifor. York’s Division of Equity, People & Culture has also provided funding support. The Faculty of Education – home to the Jean Augustine Chair – and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, through faculty member Davis, also play a critical role in the event.
Anika Forde, research project manager for the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora, and Karen Burke, Chair of Music, were co-conveners of the event this year.
Those interested in attending can register for free tickets on Eventbrite.
Article originally posted in the February 2, 2024 issue of Yfile