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Black Students at Ivey Collective event celebrates the richness of Ivey’s Black culture

Feb 29, 2024

Nadine de Gannes, HBA ’09, HBA Faculty Director (front) with the Black Culture Celebration student organizing team

Nadine de Gannes, HBA ’09, HBA Faculty Director (front) with the Black Culture Celebration student organizing team.

Sahil Aujla is an HBA ’24 candidate, a Communications Intern at Ivey, and Vice President of Communications for the Ivey HBA Association. He attended the second annual Black Culture Celebration at Ivey’s Chrominska Hall on February 27, presented by the Black Students at Ivey Collective, and shares details on the event and reflections from the student organizers.

It had all the makings of a celebration – food, music, and live entertainment – but Ivey’s recent Black culture event was also a testament to the importance of embracing diversity as a strength.

The second annual Black Culture Celebration on February 27, organized by the Black Students at Ivey Collective (BSIC), kicked-off with reflections from BSIC Co-President Cordlyne Nwankwo on the growing presence of Black students at Ivey and what that means.

Showcasing unity, pride, and resilience

Nwankwo, an HBA2 student who organized the event with fellow HBA2 student and BSIC Co-President Ryan Cunningham, said the goal was to not only showcase Black culture but to provide a platform for students to unite and celebrate that culture as a collective. And unite they did. The event brought together more than 100 attendees from Ivey, Western University, and affiliate universities to enjoy African and Caribbean food from Vas Cuisine and Mundy's Catering and live music from DJ Joze. In his opening remarks, Nwankwo emphasized the underlying themes of the event: unity, pride, and resilience.

“We’re deeply proud of hosting the Black Culture Celebration for its second year. It's not just an event for us; it's a vibrant gathering where we come together to showcase and celebrate our rich Black heritage,” Nwankwo and Cunningham said. “We're excited about the future, eagerly anticipating how this celebration will grow and enrich our community even further in the years ahead.”

For the organizers of the event, seeing their vision come to life was a deeply gratifying experience. The student organizing team said months of planning, coordination, and hard work culminated in an evening that not only celebrated Black culture, but also showcased the power of student-led initiatives in driving positive change within the Ivey community.

Meet the organizing team and read some of their comments on the event:

BSIC Co-Presidents
Ryan Cunningham and Cordlyne Nwankwo

Internal logistics
Spencer Gibbs and Christopher Ojo

Graphic design and Marketing
Ariya Baptiste and Mayo Olusanya

Black Culture Celebration (BCC) Committee:
Adrian Gaymes, Fayo Adeyemo, Tomi Komolafe, Alexander West, Sosé Okotako, and Miles Omondi

By celebrating and acknowledging the rich cultural heritage and contributions of Black people, these events create a sense of community and belonging. They serve as a platform for us students to connect with peers who share similar backgrounds and experiences. Such initiatives not only enrich the student experience, but also prepare us as future leaders who value diversity and inclusion in our professional and personal lives.”
 – Fayo Adeyemo, HBA1
I am excited about this event to empower, inspire, and promote Black culture throughout Ivey. Events like these play a key role in working towards inclusivity in the classroom.”
– Alexander West, HBA1

I hope this celebration not only honours the rich diversity and cultural heritage of the Black community, but also fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation among all students at Ivey. Events like these are crucial for building an inclusive environment that values and celebrates the contributions of every individual.”
– Tomi Komolafe, HBA1

More photos from the event

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