Black Studies Programming Implementation Team


The Implementation Team developed diplomas and designed courses and foci/experiential components surrounding Black Studies to promote inclusive learning rooted in equity and social justice.


  • Research and Consultations: The Implementation Team produced a 50-page report in summer 2021 (led by Dr. Vershawn Ashanti Young) on Developing Black Studies at Waterloo and from consultations12, the team reported that 26 per cent of faculty respondents were willing to teach a course in Black/Indigenous studies and the majority of student respondents reported an interest in taking a Black or Indigenous course (87 per cent and 90 per cent of respondents respectively).
  • Courses: The Implementation Team proposed new courses in summer 2021 to support diplomas and future minor/majors. Specifically, three courses were developed at the 100-level, eight at the 200-level, nine at the 300-level, and four at the 400-level13.
  • Foci and Experiential Components: Three foci and experiential components for a future major in Black Studies were designed in summer 2021. Specifically, Anti-Racist Consulting and Community Engagement (with capstone experiential consulting practice component), Black Entrepreneurship (with capstone entrepreneurial development component), and General Black Studies.

  • Diplomas in Black Studies: In November 2021, the Senate approved the Implementation Team’s two diplomas in Black Studies (formulated in summer 2021). Starting fall 2022, Black Studies and Fundamentals of Anti-Racist Communication will be offered as diplomas open to degree students from all faculties and non-degree and post-degree students. Black Studies focuses on providing foundational knowledge on Black culture, life, history, arts, society, and politics, applying an intersectional framework, while Fundamentals of Anti-Racist Communication aims to provide essential skills to combat anti-Black racism, develop broad racial awareness and Black cultural competency and engage in effective interracial communication and allyship.

12 Consultations with faculty, staff, students, other university programs, outside agencies, and community partners in summer 2021 (total = 480 respondents; UG Student 35%, Staff 30%, Faculty 21%, Grad student 6%).

13 100-level courses: Foundations of Black Studies; Introduction to Black Arts, Culture, and Literature, Combating Anti-Black Racisms; 200-level courses: Black and Free, Taking B(l)ack History, Black Feminisms, Introduction to Anti-Racist Communication, Black Canadian Writing (cross-list ENGL 201), Language, Life, and Literature in the Caribbean, Black Performance Studies, Black Diasporic Lives, 1740 to 1900; 300-level courses: Afro-Latin American (cross-list SPAN – Mario Boido), Black Queer Studies, Black Strategic Management and Enterprises, Global Politics of Pan Africa, Methods and Practices of Black Anti-Racist Consulting, Topics in Black Language and Linguistics, Writing Anti-Racism, Special Topics in Black Studies, Black Theatre Workshop ; 400-level courses: African American Rhetoric, Advanced Black Culture and Society, Special Topics in Black Entrepreneurial Enterprises, The Black Atlantic.