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Community-led initiatives for Black flourishing at UM

Check out these events supported by the 2023-24 Promoting Black Flourishing Fund

February 12, 2024 — 

A soul & poetry night. A Black traditions celebration. A business and entrepreneurship symposium and market. An eco-empower symposium to inspire Black student leaders for a greener world. A Nigerian student youth networking and cultural celebration. A Black History Month gala dinner and keynote.

These are just a few of the events and projects to look forward to this year as supported by the 2023-24 Promoting Black Flourishing Fund. (Note: Some projects are also funded through other sources.)

The annual fund is an initiative of the Office of Equity Transformation, which is overseen by Vice-Provost (Equity) Tina Chen. She says, “We’re excited to support these creative and diverse projects and events that further Black flourishing at UM and help to shape and redefine our community. This year’s community-led initiatives are very innovative, and include many student-led projects. I want to thank the students, faculty and staff for their vision and dedication to organising events, and for showing us what Black flourishing means to them.”

Created in late 2021, the fund reflects UM’s commitment as a signatory to the Scarborough Charter on anti-Black racism and Black Inclusion, and recognizing the diversity and complexity of Black peoples; supporting and affirming Black voices; and investing in Black initiatives at UM.

Fund applications are due each December, with successful applications receiving funding for projects that must take place early in the following year.

Read on for more details on this year’s funded projects! Note: Some event dates are TBC and a few have already passed; previous events were promoted via social media and in our Black History Month anchor story.


Learn more about the Promoting Black Flourishing Fund

See more Black History Month events


UMBA event

Supporting the Winnipeg Black Collective Event: Action Vision & Change dinner, symposium and keynote

Organized by UM Black Alliance (UMBA) & Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program (ACMP)
Feb. 16
Fort Richmond Collegiate, 99 Killarney Ave.
5:00 P.M. Black Business Showcase
6:15 P.M. Dinner by Winnipeg’s own D & M Caribbean Flava
7:30 P.M. Program

Keynote: Canada’s Black justice strategy co-author Zilla Jones, BMA, JD

The Afro Caribbean Mentorship Program (ACMP) and the UM Black Alliance (UMBA) will host its third annual, one-day (in-person & online) Black History Month event. The evening’s festivities will celebrate Afro-Caribbean Black Canadian communities’ by paying homage to our history and celebrating Afro-Caribbean Black people’s great accomplishments in our present times. The evening’s social gathering will encourage audience members to dance, sing and contribute to a thought-provoking panel discussion on the Black experiences in Winnipeg, empowering our Black community members, and supporting local Black businesses and initiatives. Supported by the Promoting Black Flourishing Fund.

This event is partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada, Red River College and the Pembina Trails School Division to host this community-engaged event, with additional monetary sponsorship from the following UM faculties and departments: Faculty of Science; Faculty of Arts; Faculty of Social Work; Faculty of Kinesiology; UM IST; UM Libraries; Faculty of Graduate Studies; Asper School of Business James W. Burns Leadership Institute; Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.


Student events

Black Students Community Entrepreneurship Symposium

Feb. 8, 5 to 7 P.M.

Room 115 Drake Center, 181 Freedman Crescent.

This event will inspire innovative thinking, fostering a collaborative environment where aspiring entrepreneurs can network and learn from seasoned professionals. Snacks provided. More info at the Black Students Community Instagram.

Black Business Market

Feb. 9, 10 A.M. (9 A.M. for vendors)

Multi-Purpose Room (MPR), UMSU University Centre

Book a table, or come to browse the selection. More info at the Black Students Community Instagram.


Black Soul & Poetry Night

Black Students Union & UMSU

Thursday, Feb. 15, 7 to 9 P.M.
IQ’s Café & Billiards, 3rd floor UMSU University Centre

Join the Black Students Union & UMSU for an inspirational evening of powerful and passionate poetry at IQs Café & Billiards, with appetizers provided by Nyumbani African Delicacies. Students are invited to sign up and read or perform! 
Register and see more info at the Black students Union Instagram.

All are welcome at this free event!


The Black Café

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1-4 P.M.
543-544 University Centre (5th floor)

This will be the second annual event of The Black Student Empowerment Society [BSES)

A networking event that connects students with a mentor in a field of their interest and allow Black students to develop beneficial social networks. This event will gather mentors and interested students to discuss personal experiences, learn about potential career opportunities and inspire the Black student body to pursue their academic interests and aspirations.

Register and see more information on the BSES Instagram page


Black Traditions Gala Celebration

Saturday, Feb. 24, Time TBD

Multipurpose Room (MPR), 2nd Floor, University Centre

Black Students’ Union (IG)

This Black Students’ Union event features with traditional cultural attire and food, art, music and dance from across the spectrum of Black communities to show multicultural diversity.

The Black traditions social event provides a forum for students to connect with others within their cultural or academic community, improve their networking skills, and grow their student networks. There will be a runway session for different students, nationalities, and cultural groups and associations to display their best cultural wear, with the attendees selecting the best dressed from the entire showcase. Gift basket prizes will be created from donations from black-owned businesses to advertise their products to students looking to support black-owned businesses in Winnipeg. Performers will include a drum group and dance troupe, with dancing into the rest of the evening when all the presentations are done.


Nigerian Student Youth Gala

March 10-16 (TBC)

The UM Nigerian Student Association (IG) in partnership with the Nigerian Association of MB Inc (NAMI)

This networking and cultural celebration event features award presentations, a cultural fashion show, Nigerian food and Nigerian fuji music/Highlife music, and other genres of music by Nigerians in Winnipeg. An appreciation of resilient and innovative Nigerian youth and talents in Winnipeg and their achievements.

The event will embrace and enable meaningful and continuous improvement of the Nigerian community. The commitment and dedication taken by young and resilient Nigerian youths in fostering the development of the community by making services available for other students, engaging in community-based projects, and developing pathways for collaboration. Nigerian students who have created small businesses in Winnipeg to aid other Nigerians and students who volunteer for the growth of the community will be celebrated. The initiative will help to build students’ academic and professional networks as well as provide students with a holistic academic experience.


Eco-Empower Symposium: Inspiring Black Student Leaders for a Greener World

March 30

Sustainability For ME; Impact Leaders Connect

The 4-hour Eco-Empower Symposium kicks off with a reception, followed by keynote speeches on Empowering Black Student Leadership in Sustainability to set the tone for the day and a 40-minute panel discussion on “Leading sustainable changes in our personal lives, communities and globally.” A 30-minute networking workshop by Leadership Coach Natalie Bell will foster collaboration among participants during and after the Eco-Empower Symposium.

After a rejuvenating lunch break, the symposium will invite students to pitch their community engagement and development ideas, underscoring the symposium’s commitment to recognizing and supporting Black, Black Canadian, African, Afro-Caribbean, or Caribbean innovators. The event will conclude with a 30-minute networking session to strengthen connections and foster a sense of community and collaboration beyond the Eco-Empower Symposium.


Black High School STEM symposium

May, dates TBD

Black Volunteer Collective’s Let’s Talk Science organization

The Black High School STEM symposium  welcomes students from grades 8-12 in a two-day event where they connected with Black leaders in STEM via presentations and hands-on STEM activities. The symposium will opportunities for these youths to explore their curiosity in STEM and inspire them to pursue STEM thanks to the representation, they got to experience. This day-long event will be held in person.

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