The Guelph Black Students Association (GBSA) and the University of Guelph's Cultural Diversity team in Student Experience are celebrating Black History Month with a digital library display entitled Black History Month 2024: 360°; Health and Wellness.
This collection's goal is to emphasize the importance of a holistic approach to health and wellness. The collection is based on the Seven Dimensions of Wellness and includes perspectives that recognize the influencing factors on wellbeing, and approaching balanced lifestyles through emotional, physical, social, intellectual, occupational, environmental, and spiritual wellness. A health and wellness display during Black History Month helps to promote inclusivity, diversity, and awareness and offers an opportunity to celebrate the richness of Black history and culture while addressing important aspects of wellbeing that are relevant to the community.
The books chosen center historically underrepresented Black voices to foster inclusivity, education, empowerment, and community building. This is a critical step in addressing the historical underrepresentation of Black voices in academic settings while also providing a better understanding of Black health and wellbeing. While Black readers may specifically resonate with the topics discussed, everyone is welcome and encouraged to read the books from this display as lessons can be learned regardless of age, level of education, or race.
While there are many incredible works featured in this display, here are a few titles the GBSA chose to highlight:
- The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor – This work advocates for self-love, emphasizing the importance of embracing one’s body and identity without shame or apology, and explores the intersections of body positivity, social justice, and activism (such as body image, race, gender, and disability). Taylor encourages readers to challenge societal norms and embrace self-acceptance.
- The Unapologetic Workbook for Black Mental Health: A Step-by-Step Guide to Build Psychological Fortitude and Reclaim Wellness by Rheeda Walker – Walker, a renowned psychologist addresses the unique mental health challenges faced by the Black community delving into the historical, social, and cultural factors that contribute to disparities in mental health care. She provides practical tools and strategies for emotional wellness, empowering readers to navigate the mental health system effectively.
- What a Time to be Alone: the Slumflower's Guide to Why You Are Already Enough by Chidera Eggerue – An empowering and unconventional self-help book that encourages readers to embrace solitude and find strength in being alone. It challenges societal expectations and encourages individuals to prioritize self-love and self-discovery. In a candid and relatable writing style, Eggerue covers topics such as self-worth, relationships, and personal growth, providing practical advice and affirmations to help readers navigate their journeys toward self-acceptance.
With gratitude – thank you to the GBSA and Cultural Diversity team for curating this digital display – we are so appreciative of all your work and contributions. We’d like to name the people who made this display possible.
Executive members of the GBSA:
- Martha Yiridoe
- Binta Njai
- Stephanie Alao
- Kurhula Mbetse
- Khalil Gaynor
- Kaylah Mitchell-Hutson
- Omonele (Nelly) Braimah
- Ogheneochuko (Ochuko) Mrabure
Cultural Diversity team members:
- Amelia Kezaabu, Coordinator, Cultural Diversity Programs, Student Experience
- Alicia Yon, Coordinator, Cultural Diversity Programs, Student Experience
About the Guelph Black Students Association
The GBSA was established in 1994 and functions as a resource center for diverse and minority students on campus. The GBSA focuses on issues of diversity, race, and other significant factors relevant to the lives of students of colour, and tries to encourage the inclusion, respect, and education of the beautifully unique and present black and minority faces at U of G. Though the association is a volunteer driven organization for underrepresented students, it is open to everyone on campus and individuals within the Guelph community interested in learning about issues regarding and facts about students of colour both around the world and right at home in Guelph. Connect with the GBSA on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the critical work they do.