Black History Month capped off with an informative and educational event for women

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A women’s group will close Black History Month with an informative and entertainment filled event, as the Sedulous Women Leaders honour Black History Month and the success of women.

The online only event this Saturday is living up to its name, according to organizer Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo.

“We are bringing in a combination of strong women that are in politics and have businesses of their own,” said Adetokunbo-Taiwo. “We are bringing in women of colour who are doing so well. It is going to be amazing. It is going to be a day full of fun.

“We wanted to celebrate the women of colour that are in Canada, particularly the Sedulous Women Leaders for their resilience, for their perseverance, for their hard work. (We want to) showcase them, elevate them and boost their morale this year. They have been unshakable and phenomenal, and the only way to do that was to make use of this month of the Black History to tell their story a little bit, to share their culture a little bit and to share their success.”

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Sedulous means showing dedication or diligence.

Grande Prairie mayor Jackie Clayton will be of the speakers.

“(Clayton) is making history right now being the first female mayor in Grande Prairie” said Adetokunbo-Taiwo. “She is an entrepreneur herself and that resonates with what the Sedulous Women Leaders stand for. (Clayton) has a lot to say and she has a lot to share with the women. She is going to be speaking about ’The future needs more Black entrepreneurs’ just to encourage and motivate women to aim for the best.”

Hon. Minister Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister for Culture, Multiculturalism & Status of Women, will be giving the opening address and Hon. Minister Audrey Gordon will be speaking on Mental Health Support in the Black communities.

“We see a lot of women of colour and Black women who are busy balancing and trying to juggle everything together and do so many things, so we thought self-care was so important,” said Adetokunbo-Taiwo. “(With COVID and the pandemic) we thought it would be nice to have a little discussion about mental health.

“We thought we should incorporate mental health, (looking) into the research and what kind of supports there are in the Black community. In the research part we do have Dr. Bukola Salami from the University of Alberta, who is also a Black woman, coming to talk particularly about mental health in the Black community.”

In addition to serious topics, there will be entertaining and informative features as well.

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These include a spoken-word performance by Amanda Okafor titled “Black, My Beautiful Reality”, a performance by Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre titled “Black History Month” and a feature on food photography that solely focuses on Black food culture.

“(The day) is going to be very informative and entertaining, connecting the community together that way. So when (people in general) go to the library or they go to the stores, they are more comfortable to pick up that book, more comfortable to pick up that food item,” said Adetokunbo-Taiwo. “They are more comfortable to talk about and want to learn more about the culture of Black people and also to support  Black local (business) owners.”

To commemorate the event and honour the women taking part, books title such as“Still I Rise” by Eyitope Fagite, “Sam Loses his Tonsils” by Lola Olorunfem, and “Unmask your Beauty” by Adedoyin Omotara will be donated to the Grande Prairie Public Library.
All three authors are businesswomen and members of the Sedulous Women Leaders group.
“We can introduce that inclusiveness and diversity we want to see in literature at the library,” said Adetokunbo-Taiwo. “We want people to be able to read and understand and get educated about Black people. We know that even in the literature, some of the stories in there are from the experiences — the life experiences of the writer. We thought having their books at the library is one way to contribute to inclusiveness.

“(Tara Wiebe, Head of Customer Service at the GPPL) will be talking about how diverse the library is in their literature. We want every girl and boy who reads to be empowered by what they read.”

To register online https://sedulouswomenleaders.net/bhm/.

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