Black History Month - Speaker Series
14 January 2022
PRUDE Inc.'s 2022 Black History Month SPEAKER SERIES
As part of our Black History Month celebrations, PRUDE Inc. is proud to team up with the New Brunswick Black History Society once again to bring you our SPEAKER SERIES, a series of free, interactive online talks
by presenters from around the province. This year, our guest presenters will engage you with information on such topics as Black business development, how to do genealogical research on your Black Maritime family, the history of Black gay culture, the lives of Black New Brunswickers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, poetry and more. Come listen and ask questions. We encourage it!
PRUDE Inc. Program Coordinator Damon Levine will host the sessions for our Black History Month SPEAKER SERIES.
Take a look at our guest speakers and sign up today... We look forward to seeing you!
Wednesday, February 2, 2022 @7pm
How to Start a Business in the Community
Presenter: Bridget Ibukun
Bridget Ibukun will discuss how members of the community can start and grow businesses in the Saint John region.
Before moving to Canada in 2018, Bridget worked at a top-tier commercial bank in Nigeria, gaining experiences in Banking, Human Resource Management and Training Development. She also owned an Event Planning and decoration outfit and a beauty salon.
She is a Sociology graduate, a Certified Customer Service Trainer (CCST) with an Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management and a student member of the New Brunswick chapter of the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR).
Bridget is a Certified Event and Wedding Planner and a member of the Canadian Society of Professional Event Planners (CANSPEP). she runs her Event Management outfit, Elegance Events By Bridget (@elegancebybridget). She genuinely enjoys beautifying spaces, planning events and weddings, and
offers rental services.
She enjoys cooking and sharing cooking ideas, photos and videos on her food blog (@siramidkitchen). Bridget trains youths on skills development. She teaches newcomers how to start a business in the city and finds time to encourage small business owners and connect them with potential clients through her social media platform (@businessdateca).
Bridget is very enthusiastic about community service. She is a World Pulse Ambassador, volunteers for PRUDE Inc., YMCA, RCCG community, Community Volunteer for Income Tax Program, United Colours of Fashion, NBCC and other private businesses.
Thursday, February 3, 2022 @7pm
Being Fluid--Poetry with Clyde Wray
Presenter: Clyde Wray
Poet Clyde Wray will discuss transitioning during duress, expecting the unexpected and being able to function in difficult circumstances.
Clyde Wray is the author of four books of poetry. He is also a producer, director, playwright and a performer, having had his work performed in such places as New York, Los Angeles, Denmark, Halifax and right here in Saint John.
And though he’s a New York City native, Clyde is really very much the Maritimer. He resides with his wife Kelli and their three children Astrid, Shasta and Nikolai in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 @7pm
Black Gay Culture: An Intimate Portrait
with Normand/Normani Hector
Presenter: Normand/Normani Hector
Normand will take you on a cultural journey about creativity, expression and finding your voice in the world of Black culture with an introduction to drag performing. You'll learn how the culture has evolved since the 1900s--through fear, liberation, and acceptance--into the mainstream.
Normand Hector/Normani is a drag performer and motivational leader, a career that has seen him recognized with awards and accolades from top corporate organizations in New Brunswick. With a strong background in corporate sales and team building for more than 30 years, he recognizes the importance of dedication, service, and excellence.
Normand was born the second youngest of eight children to hard-working parents. Coming from a family of game changers led him to teach classes that develop, inspire, and mentor our youth to embrace their challenges with self confidence and self esteem. In 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Inukshuk award for community involvement and leadership.
In 2018 Normand/Normani decided to embrace his inner passion--drag performing--with a teaching message. Normand /Normani has been with his husband for more than 27 years, and married for more than 16 years. Normand /Normani brings unique perspectives gained from life experiences, hard work and determination. He continues to take his career, performing and otherwise, to unprecedented levels. Normand’s /Normani's down-to-earth humor compels all to laugh while they learn.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 @7pm
You Cannot Kill Ideas: Pan-Africanists of the Past and the Present Pan-Africanist Movement
Presenter: Lily Lynch
In the late 1800s, Pan-Africanist ideologies began to emerge in response to European colonization and exploitation of the African continent as well as in defense of the right to self-determination for all oppressed Afro-descended people (aka the African Diaspora). Lily's presentation seeks to provide a survey of the goals of Pan-Africanism and to share the stories of revolutionary Pan-Africanists like Marcus Garvey (Jamaica), Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso), and Patrice Lumumba (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to name a few.
A descendant of Black Loyalists, today’s guest moved to New Brunswick from Halifax, Nova Scotia after graduating from the University of King’s College in 2016. Upon arriving in Saint John, she co-founded Sankara with Otito Atansi. Now, Sankara operates an Online Multicultural Marketplace platform enabling the community access to authentic cultural services and products like Catering, Meal Plans, and Arts & Crafts--all made hyper-locally by a collective of vendors from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Thursday, February 10, 2022 @7pm
Building Capacity for Community Impact
Presenter: Seun Richards
Seun will talk about how we can identify, develop and use the unique talents and abilities of members of our communities to solve problems and move ourselves forward.
Seun Richards is a researcher, social entrepreneur, and community volunteer, passionate about solving problems in the community. He is currently a doctorate student focused on immigrant entrepreneurship and its impact on economic development and population growth across Atlantic Canada.
Before the pandemic, Seun established a delivery company (Door2Door Pickup Couriers) to solve the home delivery problems experienced by international students and newcomers in the city of Saint John. The venture was helpful in offering free delivery services to vulnerable seniors, international students stranded on campus, and immigrant families who were most affected by the lockdown. Through his social enterprise, Seun Richards has been recognized and severally awarded for his community engagement services across Canada.
Seun Richards is the recipient of the 2021 PRUDE Diversity Champion – Immigrant Entrepreneur Award.
Seun's major interests are in Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Community Development.
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 @7pm
How to Discover the Lost Stories of New Brunswick’s Early Black Settlers
Presenter: Stephen Davidson
Drawing on his decades of research into Black Loyalist history, Stephen will review the many online resources available to genealogists and historians who want to learn more about the early years of Black settlement in New Brunswick. More than simply listing helpful sources, this Power Point Presentation will give examples of what can be discovered in newspaper files, christening records, probate records, victualing musters, land petitions and the Book of Negroes — and how 21st century New Brunswickers can use this data to trace their ancestors’ stories. In addition to the students of Black history, this talk will also benefit family historians and those who are just beginning to piece together their family trees.
The son of two Saint Johners, Stephen has ties to Loyalist history that go back to 1783 when his ancestors were fellow passengers with New Brunswick’s first Black Loyalists aboard the Union. His 1975 bachelor’s thesis on an aspect of Black Loyalist history became the basis for his contribution to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography.
In addition to submissions to The Loyalist Gazette and more than 770 articles for Loyalist Trails, Stephen’s research has appeared in multiple genealogy periodicals, a national children’s magazine, The Beaver, and a number of Maritime newspapers.
He served as a consultant for two websites created by the University of New Brunswick (Black Loyalists in New Brunswick and Loyalist Women in New Brunswick), spoke at two national historical conferences, served as Peter C. Newman’s consultant and researcher, and authored two books on Black Loyalists. Stephen and his wife live in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia where they raised two daughters and now enjoy the proximity of two grandsons.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @7pm
Representation and Dismantling Racial Discrimination
Presenter: Saa Andrew
Saa will discuss how all communities in our province can work together collectively to dismantle racial discrimination.
Saa Andrew Gbongbor is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Battle of the Arts NB, an organization that uses arts and culture to amplify, create, uplift, empower and provide opportunities and safe spaces for diverse youth to excel through the arts. Saa Andrew is originally from Sierra Leone and studied Human Rights Law at Saint Thomas University. He records and produces music, is a songwriter (Afro-beats) and has released two CDs. Saa Andrew has traveled throughout Canada, working with diverse artists and community leaders on numerous projects. He is an engaged community leader who resides in Fredericton.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 @7pm
Black History Projects - Works in Progress
Presenter: Peter Little
Peter will be highlight his ongoing research to identify previously unknown, or unrecognizable Black burial grounds, of which there are three so far.
Additionally, he will describe his ongoing work on the Black Census of NB where he has been trying to record the names of Black residents by county for each year of the census (1824-1911).
Saint John-native Peter Little is a retired senior production planner for Irving Oil, freelance writer and historian who has authored three books, including "Abraham Beverley Walker: Lawyer, Lecturer, Activist", a biography of Canada's first Black lawyer. In addition, his writing has been featured in such publications as The New Brunswick Reader, The Fredericton Region Museum's Officers' Quarters and Generations, the journal of the New Brunswick Genealogical Society, Inc. Little is currently compiling the Black census of New Brunswick, which will include the names of all the province's Black residents from 1824 to 1921. Little is also a member of the board of the New Brunswick Black History Society.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 @7pm
Liberty, Freedom, Glory and New Brunswick's Ties to Upper Canada
Presenter: Graham Nickerson
This instalment of Liberty, Freedom, Glory examines New Brunswick's Black history in connection with Upper Canada, how both colonies participated in the march towards emancipation, and how both fit into the wider Black Atlantic story.
Graham Nickerson is currently a member of the New Brunswick Black History Society, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society and the Tomlinson Lake Hike to Freedom, as well as a graduate student in history at the University of New Brunswick. Graham volunteers with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and the York Sunbury Museum assisting in developing material to express the Black perspective. Besides researching for his MSc, he spends most of his time engaged in other projects depicting the lives of the Maritime Black community with a hope of developing a wider social awareness of the historical significance of the Black community in this part of Canada.
Thursday, February 24, 2022 @7pm
Presenter: Mary-Louise McCarthy-Brandt
Mary-Louise offers a basic breakdown of systemic racism, explaining race, racism in general, and anti-Black racism in particular. She will also address White privilege, microaggressions, and how is Black history taught.
Mary-Louise McCarthy-Brandt has a PhD. in Social Justice from the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She currently lives and works in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her doctoral research focused on uncovering the stories, bonds, and relationships between the early African settlers of New Brunswick, focusing specifically on spirituality and death. Our guest has researched five graveyards in New Brunswick which show evidence of segregation in death and is currently a board member of the New Brunswick Black History Society.