VIU Campus

February is Black History Month

Message from the President

As we usher in February, VIU proudly recognizes and celebrates Black History Month. This month serves as a poignant reminder of the rich and diverse contributions of Black individuals in our community, our nation, and across the globe. It is a time to reflect on the struggles and triumphs that have shaped our history and to acknowledge the ongoing pursuit of racial justice and equality.

Our university stands committed to fostering an environment where the voices and experiences of Black students, faculty, and staff are heard, valued, and respected. We recognize that celebrating Black history is not confined to a single month but is an integral part of our year-round commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In our own VIU community, I want to acknowledge the contributions of our Black community members and share my appreciation for the fresh perspectives and experience that you bring to our campuses and communities. I am grateful you have chosen VIU to study and pursue your educational goals. Please know that you are welcomed and valued members of our community.

Throughout this month, VIU will host a series of events and activities designed to educate, inspire, and provoke thoughtful discussions. These events serve as opportunities for us to amplify the voices and stories of Black Canadians. By listening, we can learn and deepen our understanding of the diverse experiences of others and engage in meaningful dialogue about those experiences.

On February 2, VIU will host jazz singer and historian Diana Braithwaite for an evening of music and stories at the Cowichan Campus at 7:00 p.m. Then on February 12, there will be a screening in the Malaspina Theatre at 12 p.m. of an episode from Canadian television writer and host Amanda Parris’ For the Culture documentary series, where she shares her own experiences as a Black woman in white-dominated spaces and subjects of importance to Black communities in Canada and abroad. The episode “A failing grade” travels to the UK, US, and Canada to question why Black children frequently fall through the cracks in these public education systems. The full series is available on CBC Gem.

I highly encourage our community to take time this month to seek out Black voices and perspectives and learn more about Black history here in BC, Canada and globally. The BC Black History Awareness Society has some phenomenal information on their website as well as several events in the Greater Victoria Area throughout February and beyond. Additionally, the Nanaimo African Heritage Society is hosting a Black History Finale Gala on February 24.

In closing, I encourage each one of us to embrace the spirit of Black History Month not just in February but in our daily lives. By doing so, we contribute to building a more inclusive and understanding community at VIU and beyond.




Dr. Deborah Saucier

President and Vice-Chancellor

Vancouver Island University


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