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Celebrating diversity during Black History Month

Tonight in Innisfil, Michèle Newton is moderating 'Open to Change', a community panel exploring ways to promote diversity and inclusion
Keisha-Ann Shaw Hill is not only a subject of the Our Mosaic Lives exhibit, she will be one of the Open to Change panelists at the Lakeshore Library; photo by Michele Newton. Miriam King/Bradford Today

February is Black History Month in Canada.

The celebration of diversity, struggle and achievement started early in Innisfil.

Michèle Newton’s exhibit, Our Mosaic Lives – a celebration of Black women and girls in Canada – has been on display at the Lakeshore Branch of the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library, 967 Innisfil Beach Rd., since early January and continues into February.

And tonight (Jan. 29), as part of Our Mosaic Lives, Newton is moderating ‘Open to Change,’ a community panel that will explore ways to promote diversity and inclusion. Panellists include singer/songwriter Errol Lee, lawyer and business woman Keisha-Ann Shaw Hill, and an Innisfil high school student.

The panel discussion begins at 7:30 p.m., and is free. Members of the community, educators and youth are encouraged to attend; the panel is open to ages 13 and up. Registration is encouraged.

At the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library and Cultural Centre, 425 Holland St. W., a number of events have been planned during Black History Month, including a month-long exhibit, Feb. 3-28 of paintings by local artist Stanley Thomas.

Sunday, Feb. 2  - as part of the Barrie Jazz & Blues Fest, Toney “Wild T” Springer will present a tribute to Jimi Hendrix – Jimi Hendrix Unplugged, 2 p.m. in the Bradford library’s Atrium. The free concert provides an intimate look at the iconic guitar legend.  

Wednesday, Feb. 12, Black History Month Book Club and Movie, at the Bradford Library. At 6:30 p.m., discuss the acclaimed book, The Hate U Give, and watch the movie adaptation. Please pre-register.

Thursday, Feb. 13. Join the Centre for Youths and Culture in a Teen Many Cultures Celebration, 4 p.m. at the Bradford library, featuring Youth Elevation Dance Troupe and rapper Prince Jay.

Saturday, Feb. 29 at 11 a.m., join the Bradford West Gwillimbury Diversity Action Group for a Black History Celebration at the BWG Public Library – featuring Mystic Drumz. In this interactive show, kids will explore percussion instruments and rhythm, and make crafts. At 1 p.m., the Centre for Youths and Culture presents I Have A Dream, an all-ages social, with performances and refreshments.

For Black History Month, the Tecumseth and West Gwillimbury Historical Society welcomes Governor General Award-winning author Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost, on Monday, Feb. 17 at the Tec-We-Gwill WI Hall in Newton Robinson. Dr. Smardz Frost is a dynamic speaker, archaeologist and author, who will discuss her latest non-fiction book, “Steal Away Home“ –  telling the compelling stories of survivors of slavery. There will be a book sale and book-signing, following the meeting. Free for Society members, $5 per person drop-in fee for guests. Seating is limited. Refreshments to follow. For more information, call 905-936-6549.

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Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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