Black History Month Events

The Centre for Women and Trans People will commemorate this year’s Black History Month by offering a series of events that speaks to the struggles of Black people on Turtle Island. Let us work together in solidarity to continue to resist violence. The Centre is honoured to be part of this work and hopes everyone has a chance to draw inspirations from the strength and resistance of Black people of Turtle Island. All are welcome. All events are free.

*Thursday February 10, 6-8pm: Movie Screening: Ethnic Notions*

*Tuesday February 15, 6-8pm: Art & Poetry Workshop with Roxane Tracey: What Does Freedom Mean To You?*

*Thursday February 17, 6-8pm: Words of Resistance Open Mic: What is State Violence?*




TIME: 6-8pm
LOCATION: The Centre for Women and Trans People UT


**National Emmy Winner**

Ethnic Notions is Marlon Riggs’ Emmy-winning documentary that takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the first time the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled anti-black prejudice. Through these images we can begin to understand the evolution of racial consciousness in America.

Loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, grinning Coons, savage Brutes, and wide-eyed Pickaninnies roll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements, folklore, household artifacts, even children’s rhymes. These dehumanizing caricatures permeated popular culture from the 1820s to the Civil Rights period and implanted themselves deep in the American psyche.

Narration by Esther Rolle and commentary by respected scholars shed
light on the origins and devastating consequences of this 150 yearlong
parade of bigotry.***Ethnic Notions*situates each stereotype
historically in white society’s shifting needs to justify racist
oppression from slavery to the present day. The insidious images exacted a devastating toll on black Americans and continue to undermine race relations.

Ethnic Notions has quickly become a mainstay of university, high
school, and public library collections. It is a basic audio visual text
for American History, Sociology, Black Studies, Anthropology, Social
Psychology, Popular Culture, and any training program concerned with
stereotyping and cross-cultural understanding.

Approaching a complex and delicate subject with great sensitivity,Ethnic Notions equips viewers to view media and other cultural representations with a more critical eye. It’s a direct challenge to those who say, “It was just a joke.”—



TIME: 6-8pm

LOCATION: The Centre for Women and Trans People UT


Come and join us for a masking making workshop that incorporates poetry writing to express what freedom means to you. This workshop will be facilitated by Roxane Tracey.

About Roxane Tracey:

Visual artist and poet Roxane A. Tracey is the owner of Poetic Art
Studio located in Toronto. She has exhibited her artwork and engaged
audiences throughout Canada and the US.

Roxane’s work is currently reproduced as vibrant originals, prints,
greeting cards, books and jackets. Her inspirational line of greeting
cards and prints are currently distributed throughout the US and Canada and can be found in various gift stores, bookstores and other commercial outlets.

When Roxane is not creating she can be found facilitating art and poetry workshops for groups of youth and adults in local schools, community centres, and at her Studio.

In the words of Roxane…

“I think of myself as a creator. Someone driven with a passion to
express emotion and insight through words and artistic images.

As you read my poetry and artwork you are seeing me in many forms.
Viewing multiple self-portraits but at the same time seeing the world
through my eyes as well as my heart.

As an artist my intention is to inspire, empower, stimulate thought and
stir emotion. I’m hoping that my artwork takes you on a journey — a
journey of the mind and spirit. An endless journey that peaks and
plunges along a road that is truly enriching.”

The inspirational spark that got me where I am…

I am where I am because I could be no other place. A friend once told me that the passages of your life have already been written, you are simply following in the footsteps. My inspirational spark is born from a deep desire to have my light glow stronger so that it can shed warmth in dark spaces. I am inspired by the voices and communities that enriched me during my travels throughout East and West Africa.

Check out Roxane’s upcoming art exhibit & spoken word show

For more information visit



TIME: 6-8pm

LOCATION: The Centre for Women and Trans People UT


This month’s Words of Resistance ask you:
What is state violence?

The state is neither an inevitable system, nor is it all-powerful all
the time. The state is fallible and people have always taken stands
against it. Come commemorate the ways in which we fight back, the ways in which we have always fought back, and give each other ideas for ways to fight back in the future. This event is in recognition of Black History Month, the Rally & March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and international popular uprisings against oppressive governments everywhere.

What is justice, and how and where can we get it?

*Want to perform?*
Some ideas for your performance:

How does State violence, such as police, racial profiling,
prisons, lack of adequate health care, border security, affect you?

How can we resist State violence?

What have you witnessed people around you do to resist
State violence?

What is an event you will remember that involved resistance?

Do you have any heroes who took a stance against State


State violence is violence inflicted by the state upon its own citizenry or upon other states’ citizenry. State violence is systemic, and can range from military invasions of outside states, to denial and
underfunding to essential services within a state.

State violence includes but goes beyond the military, the police, and
the prison. It extends to overpolicing racialized peoples, underjailing
people who inflict violence against women of color and Aboriginal women and 2-spirited peoples, immigration control, lack of health-care, lack of affordable housing, evictions, inaccessible good food and clean water, and the forced removal of peoples from neighborhoods and lands.

State violence means persecuting people for what they are (vulnerable) rather than what they do. Broadly defined, state violence means not addressing, and therefore exacerbating, gross social inequities.

We must examine the ways in which elitist puppeteers behind states
benefit from forced displacement, ethnic and religious conflict, racism, neocolonialism, violence against women, rich-poor disparity, and sexism.

On February 17th get on the mic and continue the conversation. Express your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences. Share your WORDS OF RESISTANCE.