Diversity, inclusion, success and challenges.
That is at the centre of Royal Roads University’s Black History Month panel that will take place on Feb. 28.
Four speakers will gather in the Hatley Castle drawing room on Thursday afternoon to discuss what it’s like to be of African heritage in B.C.
Taseera Lwanga is the student engagement associate at Royal Roads University and is organizing the event with the school’s Diversity Action Group. This is the second time a speaker event is being held at the university for Black History Month.
Last year’s event had one speaker and was open to Royal Roads University students but this year, the panel will be open to the public.
“We wanted more experiences and perspectives from different people,” Lwanga said. “The speakers are from different regions of Africa and faced different challenges.”
Olaolu Adeyele is part of the faculty at Royal Roads University and lived in different African countries working in the field of communications.
Timothy Kituri is originally from Kenya but went to school in Canada. He has been working for the university for the last 12 years and Lwanga said he will be able to speak about the challenges he faced while settling in Canada.
Silvia Mangue Alene is from Equatorial Guinea and lived in Spain before moving to Canada. She is the president of the BC Black History Awareness Society.
The fourth speaker is Ruth Mojeed, an equity and communications consultant and former Royal Roads University student from Nigeria.
The four speakers are united in their ability to move to Canada and persevere through the challenges they faced when settling in the country, Lwanga said.
Lwanga said he has been involved in advocacy initiatives and events since he moved to Victoria in 2017. He said a desire to bring awareness to Victoria and showcase different African cultures helped motivate him in organizing the panel.
“When I moved to Victoria I was shocked because I felt like I was the only person here,” Lwanga said. “This is about bringing awareness to Victoria because we’re all here and we’re all about diversity.”
Lwanga said the moderator at the event will also try to touch on the tpic of African heritage in Canada.
The panel will take place in the Hatley Castle drawing room on Thurs. Feb. 28 from 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.