Editorial: Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community


About this edition

The African Heritage Month Edition of the Xaverian Weekly provides a platform that embraces and explores the diversity of experience, opinion and artistic expression from students of African Descent here at StFX. It is also a forum where all students have an opportunity to celebrate African culture and discuss social issues that impact our cam-pus. This edition is particularly significant as African Heritage Month (AHM) was origi-nally created to combat societies tendency to erase African history, culture, and achievements from mainstream historical narratives. It is due to this erasure that makes it so important to celebrate AHM and create space for conversations that is reflective of our diverse campus.

AHM is also a time to recognize the contributions made to society by people of African Descent and to celebrate our rich and diverse culture. The 2018 African Heritage Month theme, “Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community” honours and pay homage to African Nova Scotians and their long legacy of uniting a passion that has provided a base to ed-ucate and celebrate an important part of Nova Scotia’s culture and Heritage.

The theme, “Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community” was on full display at the AHM Launch held on February 7, in the Mackay Room. It was wonderful that StFX was cho-sen as the venue to host such a large gathering of community members in celebration of proclaiming February as AHM in Antigonish. The event was in partnership with the Town of Antigonish, Zone #7 African Cultural Awareness Association, African Nova Scotia Affairs, Support 4 Culture, the County of Antigonish, SRSB, and StFX.

During this month, it is important to recognize the observation of the United Nations In-ternational Decade for People of African Descent from 2015-2024. This observation fo-cuses on three pillars: Recognition, Justice, and Development. The main objective of the International Decade for People of African Descent is, “to promote respect, protec-tion and fulfilment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for people of African Descent, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” This observance holds a particular significance to African Nova Scotian’s as The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent published a report in 2016 which raised serious concerns regarding the systematic discrimination faced by people of African Descent who live in Nova Scotia. I encourage everyone to be inspired by this years AHM theme and take a few minutes and read the report.

As the African Descent Student Affairs Coordinator, I have really enjoyed organizing this year's events at StFX. It has been through collaboration with various faculty, staff community members, and students, that so many AHM events could take place. While there are still many events to come, I am personally excited about hosting activist El Jones on campus. She will be leading a discussion on the Canadian Correctional System and the disproportionate representation of Black offenders. This event will be taking place on Feb 28, at 6:30pm in the Physical Sciences Centre, Room 1072.

As we hit the halfway point for AHM, I would like to encourage everyone to participate in the AHM activities still remaining. Also, to take the time and educate, unite, and celebrate community here at StFX.