In celebration of Black History Month, the New Brunswick African Association, in collaboration with Battle of The Arts NB and a few other organisations, will be hosting a series of virtual events.
The theme this year is “Black History Matters”, and the organizers say it's a time for everyone to listen, learn, share, and act.
The extensive lineup of events has been scattered throughout February, starting with an opening ceremony on the 1st and a discussion on the 28th.
"The preparation this year was challenging, as we had to rethink how to make all activities be successful, make meaningful conversations that still strongly highlight our goal for fighting against systemic racism in New Brunswick, while still making it safe for our participants during this pandemic," said Saa Andrew Gbongbor, Chief Creative Officer at Battle of The Arts NB.
The events will include discussions titled Being Black in NB, Lived Experiences of Racism in NB, and Segregated in Life and Death. There will also be segments of African Drumming, African Craft, Swahili lessons, and photography exhibitions.
Gbongbor believes that these discussions and events are important because they help in making the community aware of these issues. He says that a problem can't be solved if people don't accept it exists.
"I believe these events will make a positive impact for the greater-good in the community. We are making the community aware that systematic racism towards Black and Indigenous community members does exist here in NB, but, most importantly, we are creating solutions on how we can solve them. We bring tough conversations with positive solutions," Gbongbor explained.
"I look forward to all the events and activities planned throughout the month, because we had to put a lot of thought into the planning of each event, and they all gear towards amplifying our Stories and Voices," said Gbongbor. "I also look forward to the Lived Experiences on Racism session, because there is nothing more important than hearing from first-hand experiences."
Since the activities are virtual, they have attracted national audiences as well. Over 400 people have responded to the activities so far, and the organizers believe there will be 1 000 respondents by the end of the month.
The events are open to everyone, but pre-registration for each event is compulsory and can be done here.