UTMSU started its third annual Black Excellence Month on January 30, with events focusing on the Black community within UTM and Canada.

According to UTMSU’s VP external, Marise Hopkins, in an email to The Medium, the difference between this year’s and last year’s month includes a larger number of events in collaboration with the Black societies and clubs on campus.

With seven events scattered across this month, UTMSU is collaborating with the Black Student Association, Caribbean Connections, Somali Student Association, Erindale Campus African Students Association, and East African Student Association.

“All the events for the month are equally important, as they all touch on Black excellence at UTM and the community around it, and foster an environment of learning and unlearning,” Hopkins said.

Events that took place this week included an “Existence in Resistance Workshop,” “Grieve Tonight, Rise Tomorrow,” and a movie night.

“The events this week were successful,” wrote Hopkins. “We had a movie night hosted by the Historical Studies Society, where they showed the Black Power Mixtape and had discussions with professor Julie MacArthur.”

Hopkins added that the “Grieve Tonight, Rise Tomorrow” workshop offered a space to students to “connect, heal and empower our Black community.” Discussions at the workshop also included the “Black Diaspora and dismantling stereotypes.”

“The UTMSU’s goal is to foster a space for learning and unlearning, and to celebrate Black excellence at UTM and in the community,” wrote Hopkins.

Other events scheduled for this month include “Buy Black,” which is a tabling event with Black vendors in the Student Centre from February 14 to 15. There will also be an art show as well as an open mic night at the Blind Duck Pub on February 16.

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