Black Histories and Futures Month
Opening celebration kicks off a month of scheduled activities across campus and Kingston.
More than 100 Queen’s and Kingston community members gathered online to celebrate the opening of Black Histories and Black Futures Month — an evolution of Black History Month that continues to recognize past experiences and accomplishments of Black people and communities and does so in service of forging new paths toward greater equity, diversity, and inclusivity worldwide.
“Black Histories Month brings people together to learn and share compelling stories about the aspirations and achievements of Black communities across time and space,” says Daniel McNeil, Professor and Queen’s National Scholar Chair in Black Studies. “Black Futures Month is also a time to affirm, celebrate, and defend all Black lives. As noted by the Movement for Black Lives, which established Black Futures Month in 2015, it is a visionary approach to celebrations of Blackness in February that centres Black, queer, and transfeminist perspectives that have long been at the forefront of imagining and building a world in which we are all free and self-determined.”
The event included several panel sessions focused on the United Nation’s International Decade for People of African Descent themes of recognition, justice, and development. The evening also included a moderated discussion with local Black Youth Leadership and featured a performance by poet, writer, and dancer Abena Beloved Green (Abena A. Tuffour).
During the ceremony, Queen’s Human Rights and Equity Office — alongside campus teams, student groups, and local partners like St. Lawrence College, the City of Kingston, and the Black Luck Collective — also launched the Black Histories and Futures Month calendar of events and programming. It includes activities taking place across campus and Kingston during February 2023 and beyond. Opportunities to participate range from visual and performing arts events, talks and learning workshops to winter activities, panel discussions, and social gatherings.
“Black Histories and Futures Month is a time for all campus community members — all of us — to learn and reflect on past Black experiences, recognize and celebrate those who have advanced us toward justice, and to engage ourselves in the ongoing work to build a more diverse and inclusive global society,” says Teri Shearer, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).
Beyond the month’s itinerary, Queen’s is engaged in continual work to champion and practice anti-racism across campus. Several initiatives, programs, and services are in place that seek to help boost and support Black campus community members in their studies, work, and Queen’s experience overall.
The push for greater equity, diversity, and inclusion touches all areas of the university’s activities, aligning with the Declaration of commitment to address systemic racism and with Queen’s commitments as a signee of the Scarborough Charter.
Explore the Black Histories and Futures Month calendar of events and programming. Check back often as new events and opportunities to engage will be added.
Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.