March 26, 2021Print | PDF
The Association of Black Students, a student club at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus, has been honoured with an inaugural Black Excellence in Leadership Academy Award. The award, launched by Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo, celebrates community leaders working to address racial inequities.
Lindo presented the award during a virtual event on March 21, the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity student group at the University of Waterloo and Black Brilliance, a group consisting of students within the Waterloo Region District School Board, also received the award.
“This award shows that our continuous efforts to bring awareness to the Black experience in a post-secondary school system benefit the community and have not gone unnoticed."
“It is an honour to accept the Black Excellence in Leadership Academy award on behalf of the many great student leaders who created the foundation for what the Association of Black Students at Laurier is today,” says Caleb Martey, president of the Association of Black Students. “This award shows that our continuous efforts to bring awareness to the Black experience in a post-secondary school system benefit the community and have not gone unnoticed. COVID-19 has disrupted our normal way of doing things, but this award validates what the Association of Black Students has done this year and all the work we've done in the past to get to where we are today."
The Association of Black Students emphasizes empowerment, solidarity and progress at Laurier and in the wider community. Its student executive aims to create awareness about opportunities to challenge social and racial inequalities and encourages people to get involved. The Association of Black Students is one of two Black student groups at Laurier. The Black Student Collective, a student service at Laurier’s Brantford campus, aims to address systemic barriers experienced by Black students and celebrate the diversity of Black peoples.
“Association of Black Students members are leaders, mentors and role models who are breaking down systemic barriers so others who look like them can thrive in post-secondary education.”
“I am pleased to see the Association of Black Students at Wilfrid Laurier University be recognized for their contributions toward creating a welcoming and inclusive community,” says Laurier Vice-President: Student Affairs Ivan Joseph. “Association of Black Students members are leaders, mentors and role models who are breaking down systemic barriers so others who look like them can thrive in post-secondary education.”
Through social activities, workshops and discussion groups, the Association of Black Students sheds light on the experiences of Black students to ensure that all members of the university community are informed, and students have a fulfilling university experience. The association also helps racialized high school students in Waterloo Region boost their aspirations for achieving higher education through the annual Beating the Odds conference. The conference, held in February, has included workshops led by racialized professionals and Laurier students about identity, business, leadership and next steps after high school.
Award winners will each receive artwork featuring inspirational leaders created by Toronto-based artist and Laurier alumna Melissa Falconer (BA ’17).