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Young, Gifted, and Black

Queen’s Reads video project celebrates Black student leaders. 

Inspired by the Queen’s Reads 2020-21 selection “Other Side of the Game” by Amanda Parris, and Nina Simone’s song “To be Young, Gifted and Black,” Queen’s Student Experience Office (SEO) has released a video project celebrating 24 Black student leaders, their contributions to the university community, and the peers and mentors who have inspired and supported them in their work.

As part of Black History Month, the video project also hopes to encourage the Queen’s community to regularly recognize the contributions of Black students throughout the year.

“I think projects like these are so important, especially in predominantly white spaces,” says Nicholas Ramsubick, Co-President of Queen’s EngiQueers and a fifth-year biochemical engineering student. “If the Queen's community wants to know what they can do to support Black students, they can watch, listen, and financially support Black students.”

In November, Queen's Reads put out a call to faculties, departments, and student clubs for recommendations of Black students for the project. The student leaders invited to take part include representatives from several faculties, schools and departments.

The student leaders were interviewed about their work at Queen’s by Queen's Reads Coordinator Clarissa de Leon, a PhD student in the Faculty of Education. Throughout the video, the students also share how their Black peers and mentors have impacted and inspired them during their time at Queen’s.

“We want to showcase the representation of Black students in the commerce program so that more bright young students are open to coming to the program without fear of not belonging,” says Victoria Chukwuma, Co-founder of the Smith Black Business Association and second-year Commerce student. “We hope that one day the perception of race no longer deters Black students from coming to the Smith School of Business.”

The student leaders featured in the Young, Gifted, and Black video project are:

  • Erica Johnson
  • Grace Okusanya
  • Trinda Penniston
  • Nicholas Ramsubick
  • Neil Grenade
  • Victoria Chukwuma
  • Nakeisha Lodge-Tulloch
  • Nicole Osayande
  • Michaela Patterson
  • Amelia Cockerham
  • Debi Francis
  • David Oteng Pabi
  • Emmanuel Fagbola
  • Geneviève Norris-Roozmon
  • Omar Baboolal
  • Jubilee Lambie
  • Alyssa Vernon
  • Catherine Haba
  • Kemi King
  • Ansha Nega Ahmed
  • Samara Lijiam
  • Ampai Thammachack
  • Halima Wali
  • Joseph Oladimeji

Watch the video on the SEO YouTube channel. A playlist of the individual student interviews can also be seen here.

Visit the Queen’s Reads website for details about all program events, including a March 10 author talk with playwright Amanda Parris at 5pm EST.