UBUNTU: A CELEBRATION FOR BLACK YOUTH The Angolan Youth Association of Ontario (AYAO) hosts a celebration of, by and for black youth in Grades 6 to 10. Events include an interactive museum with installations and workshops on expressive art, literature, capoeira, peaceful conflict resolution, civic engagement and the principle of ubuntu, healthy dating relationships, tolerance and more. North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge), Saturday (February 2), 10 am-4 pm. Free. 416-844-8035. Rating: NNNNN
What does Ubuntu mean?
It’s a Zulu word that means “humanity toward others” and extends to the concept that “a person is a person through other persons.”
How is Ubuntu reflected in your celebration?
This inspirational African philosophy is at the root of the conference. We’re celebrating the positive things black youth are doing in the community and providing an opportunity to network and engage in discussions around issues they face every day. Panels and workshops touch on things like identity and self-esteem, leadership and civic engagement, careers and entrepreneurship, science, literature, music and dance. So at its centre, the Ubuntu conference is about the connectedness between people and who we are as African Canadians.
What does it mean to be African Canadian?
We live in a very multicultural society where there is a taste of everything, so it can be difficult to grasp the concept of self as African Canadian. The challenge is to get an understanding of our historical background or roots and relate to other people as a member of Canadian society.
This is aimed at youth. Do you have any young speakers?
Twelve-year-old James Valitchka has written seven books (including Superheroes Don’t Have Dads and I’m Not Brown, I’m Human). The whole idea is by youth, for youth, and here is an incredible African-Canadian young man who can share his experiences on an equal level with the audience.