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young people gather in a barber shop as part of an outreach workshop

Sociocultural anthropologist Warren Clarke’s research involves running outreach programs such as this one he held in a barber shop last year. But now, for the first time since joining UM faculty in 2021, he is hosting a 3x3 basketball tournament to engage and learn from the community. // Image: Warren Clarke

Creating safer campus spaces through basketball

July 5, 2024 — 

A new event is coming to UM on July 13 and the community is welcome to join. There will be a basketball tournament, yoga and a panel discussion on misconceptions of young black men in sports.

It is all part of Warren Clarke’s research program, which, in part, aims to create safe spaces for mentorship at places such as UM. Clarke does similar outreach-research in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Clarke is an assistant professor of sociocultural anthropology who studies how Canadian social norms continue to affect the social development of African and Caribbean Black men. In the past he has run talks in barber shops, but now, for the first time since joining UM faculty in 2021, he is hosting a 3×3 basketball tournament to engage and learn from the community.

“I found over the years in working with a lot of young black men and boys, you have to meet them where they’re at,” Clarke said. “You can’t expect them to come to some programming that’s going to benefit their social, economic or educational development. But if we go to spaces where they’re at, we can introduce them to programs through things that they enjoy doing. It’s an opportunity to reach more of these young black men to engage with the programming that we have through the [The Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program].”

Everyone is welcome to attend. The basketball portion of the day begins at 11 a.m. and a panel discussion will happen over the lunch hour, starting at around 12:30. Panelists include Ryan Koleric, a long-time local basketball coach, The Honorable Uzoma Asagwara, deputy premier of Manitoba (and a 5-year UW Wesman basketball player), and Justus Alleyn, professional basketball player with the Sea Bears. The panel will explore how we can acknowledge the safe spaces where young black men can be vulnerable and able to express themselves in athletic ways, but also tackle the misconception that black men and boys are only good for sports in society. 

“I think this is a learning event for everyone, not just the black community,” Clarke says. “Everyone is welcome to learn and understand how to make this campus a more equitable and safe and inclusive space for all.”

What: 3×3 basketball tournament event hosted by the Afro-Caribbean Mentorship Program
When: July 13, 10-5 p.m. (basketball starts at 11 a.m.; panel discussion at 12:30 p.m.; yoga at 4 p.m.)
Where: Investors Group Athletic Centre, University of Manitoba


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