This Black History month, explore events, achievements, and inspirational stories of Black flourishing that continues to shape our university community.

A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor

The importance of Black History Month

February is Black History Month. It is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians and their communities to our country. It is also an opportunity to reflect on ways to eradicate systemic racism in our institution and beyond. In collaboration with the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism, we work with our community to advance anti-racism and equity through evidence-based policies, practices and programs.

We continue to respond to the recommendations from the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce and make progress on programs and initiatives to support and foster an equitable environment at University of Waterloo. We put in place new student opportunity funds to eliminate some of the financial barriers for Black and Indigenous students. Last summer, the University of Waterloo’s Anti-racism Unit launched the Sankofa Pathways to University (SPU) program, open to Canadian Black youth. This 7-week university course is titled “Taking B(l)ack History,” and focuses on Blackness, Black history, and Black futures. Upon successful completion of the course, students will earn a transferable university half-credit (0.5). Ultimately, we seek to put in place the resources and systems to ensure our Black students, faculty and staff thrive.

I would like to recognize the Black Faculty and Staff Collective for their leadership and insights in supporting this work. Christopher Stuart Taylor, Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism, and his team have also played an integral role in making these changes a reality. Above all else, it takes collective action on the part of our entire community to make these important changes.

In May, the University of Waterloo will join Wilfred Laurier University in hosting the 2024 Inter-Institutional Forum of the Scarborough National Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education. Waterloo is one of 40 higher education institutions who are signatories of the Scarborough Charter. Through the Charter, we are honouring our commitment to making unbiased choices and being anti-racist in all aspects of our lives. We are taking coordinated actions to dismantle systems that perpetuate racial discrimination and build a more inclusive and equitable society.

Black History Month is only one month a year. While it is an opportunity to reflect on our successes in building a more inclusive and equitable institution, we must remember that our commitments to anti-racism and equity are year-round. 

2024 Black History Month Events

Making a difference

Read about our students, researchers and alumni who are making a difference.

A Message from Dr. Anita Taylor, Acting AVP Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism

As February begins, we look forward to participating in Black History Month – a dedicated time to honour, recognize and celebrate the rich tapestry of Black heritage and contributions that have shaped the world we live in today. 

This year, our focus turns developing and fostering Black Flourishing here at UWaterloo. The theme is not only a celebration of the past achievements but also a powerful acknowledgment of the vibrant present and promising future that Black students, scholars, and leaders continue to carve out within academic institutions. 

The Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education highlights the ongoing work towards building community and Black flourishing. The goal within universities is more than a symbolic achievement; they represent a testament to the strength of diversity and the limitless potential that emerges when voices are heard and valued. From pioneering research initiatives to ground-breaking artistic expressions, Black scholars and students bring perspectives that enriches the educational experience for everyone.

This Black History Month and beyond, let us embark on a journey of exploration and celebration. Collectively, we will recognize the past struggles and achievements, honor the present contributions, and envision a future where Black flourishing at universities continues to inspire generations while creating a more inclusive space for all.  

UWaterloo alumni celebrate Black History Month

The University of Waterloo is proud to celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black alumni and friends in our global community. As we celebrate their impact on the University and the world, we continue to work together to ensure that everyone belongs at UWaterloo.

UWaterloo alumni celebrate Black History Month