Abbotsford, BC – February is Black History Month, an opportunity to learn more about how the contributions and achievements of Black Canadians have shaped our country and our community. The Black Canadian community in Abbotsford is incredibly diverse – including residents with ties to the United States, South Sudan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Haiti, Ghana, and Jamaica. To recognize the vitality of this community, The Reach is collaborating with The Mainland Human Rights Committee of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Black Connections to launch a handful of unique online and in-person initiatives celebrating Black history and culture.
Black History Month Quizzes and Virtual Celebration – February 28
How well do you know Black history? The Public Service Alliance of Canada BC Mainland Hu-man Rights Committee has created a series of fun and educational quizzes designed to test your knowledge of Black history in Canada. Quizzes will be posted once per week during February at psacbc.com/our-organization/human-rights-committees or can picked up at The Reach (32388 Veterans Way) all month long. Then, on February 28, participate in a virtual Black History Month Celebration featuring informative discussions, cultural performances, and virtual doors prizes. Everyone is invited! For more information on how to attend email Celine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TURN IT UP: AfroMusic in the Fraser Valley
New playlists released February 1, March 1, and April 1
Celebrate the artistry of AfroMusic made right here in the Fraser Valley with three playlists cu-rated by local music aficionados. New playlists will be released monthly and can be accessed on The Reach’s Spotify account. Carefully crafted musical selections are provided by Provi-dence I. Ndizeye, DJ Rossco, and Diyoka Tshimpaka. Featured artists include Fidelis, Turunesh, Bxundless, Rkayy, Will TOA, among others.
Listening opportunities take place every Saturday in the galleries between 12-3pm. Please note that some of the playlist content contains themes and language not suitable for all audiences. TURN IT UP is generously sponsored by CIVL Radio and organized in partnership with Black Connections.
Black History Month Instagram Takeovers – February 6, 13, 20, 27
Want to build your knowledge of Black history in Canada? Check out The Reach’s Instagram account each Saturday in February when influencer Milca Tshimpaka takes over. Tshimpaka
will leverage this accessible platform to deepen our collective awareness of the history and present reality of Black Canadians. “The history of the enslaved Black Canadians should never be forgotten, pushed aside, or downplayed,” says Tshimpaka, “however, it’s not all there is to know about Black Canadian history.” Follow @thereachgallery for Milca’s takeovers.
BC Family Day Video – “Black Hair: A (Long) Hair Story” – February 13
On BC Family Day weekend, tune into this family-friendly video highlighting Black hair culture. Join emerging filmmaker Jerusalem Amosha as she explores both historical and contemporary Black hair practices with stylists from here in the Fraser Valley. Amosha explains her inspiration for the film, and why celebrating Black hair expression in the Fraser Valley is so important: “There’s a lot of pride in Black hair culture because of what it can indicate, like social status, tribe, identity…so this isn’t just ‘hair.’ The pressure to fit in with mainstream white society to camouflage ourselves, is slavery’s impact on Black hair. It can tell you who I am if you pay attention.” The video will be released as part of The Reach’s online Family Day celebration at thereach.ca/athome on February 13. This project is supported in part by the Province of British Columbia.
Mental Health and Anti-Black Racism Panel Discussion – March 5
The past year has been a challenging one, with recent events amplifying the stark reality of sys-temic racism experienced by minority groups around the world and right here in the Fraser Val-ley. This virtual Mental Health and Anti-Black Racism Panel Discussion will bring together Black mental health professionals from across the region to discuss the challenges of today’s mental health landscape and strategies to help you in your mental health journey. Visit thereach.ca closer to the date for details about registration and participating panelists.