King's students discuss what Black History Month means to them
February 3, 2021
Black History Month, held every February, is an important time to learn more about the past and ongoing contributions made by Black people. At King’s, the Anti-Racism Working Group was formed in the fall of 2020 in collaboration with Brescia University College. The Working Group is comprised of students, staff, faculty and alumni. Two students from King’s in the Working Group are sharing their thoughts as we begin Black History Month, exploring how they will be educating others on Black issues at King’s.
Debora Kamba is a Fourth Year student, Double Major in Criminology and Sociology at King’s and a varsity athlete on the Western Mustang’s Basketball team. She says Black History Month is an opportunity “to share Black history, culture, tradition and language without fear of judgement.” Kamba says she will be using her social media platforms to create awareness of Black history and her own cultural background. “Personally, I think Black History Month should not be reduced to the month of February for the simple fact that I'm Black every day of the year. Therefore, it's important to celebrate, support, and uplift Black people every day,” says Kamba.
Roshaydia Morgan is a Third Year student, Honour Specialization in Social Justice and Peace Studies with a Minor in Women Studies at King’s. She will be active this month “to amplify more Black voices through supporting Black-owned businesses and promoting them on my social media platform. As an anti-racist advocate, Black history should be celebrated every day which can been done through educating myself and others on Black issues, appreciating my culture, and spreading the love of what it means to be Black.”
In addition, Morgan is the King’s University College Students’ Council (KUCSC) Diversity and Inclusion Commissioner and is the co-founder of the Black, Indigenous and Persons of Colour (BIPOC) Student Support Group. She also works with Black Lives Matter, to which she was introduced through the Community-Based Learning course, Women in Civic Leadership. She was paired with mentor Arielle Kayabaga, Ward 13 City Councillor in London, Ontario.
“Black History Month to me is an ongoing celebration of being proud of who I am, it is like a birthday to me because I can use that month to show extra appreciation but can still continue to be aware and active of what it means to be Black,” says Morgan.
She would like to see all Black people, both past and present, celebrated. “I do think it is important to take the time and appreciate our ancestors that have paved the way for us but also the joy and beauty of being Black,” says Morgan.
Both Morgan and Kamba are members of the King’s/Brescia Joint Principals’ Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG). “We are working towards creating an anti-racist environment through addressing systemic and institutionalized racism and how to dismantle a system built on white supremacy,” Morgan says.