UWindsor welcoming students of African diaspora
More than 200 students from high schools in Windsor-Essex, Detroit, and Toronto will experience inspiration and education attending the 15th annual African Diaspora Youth Conference, May 10 to 12 on the University of Windsor campus.
With a theme this year of “Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are,” the conference is hosted by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, designed for secondary school students interested in learning about the African diaspora and how it has played a role in their development of self.
Conference chair Andrew Allen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, says the conference gives attendees first-hand experience of the university environment and encourages them to consider higher education.
“Each year, several high school students choose to come to the University of Windsor because of their positive experience at the conference,” he says. “I am proud of the work we have done over the years and how we continue to inspire students to come to UWindsor who may not have ever thought about doing a university degree before.”
Third-year aeronautics major Crystal Bryan is the conference co-ordinator for a second straight year. She says the student volunteers help to make a connection to the high schoolers.
“Students really enjoy talking to current UWindsor students to learn about their university experience,” she says. “Some of our volunteers came to the conference when they were in high school.”
Conferees will enjoy a keynote address by advocate and activist Larissa Crawford, a student of international development and communication studies at York University; a tour of historic sites related to the Underground Railroad; and workshops led by UWindsor faculty, staff, and alumni.
Attendance also qualifies students to receive a $1,000 bursary towards tuition in any UWindsor academic program to which they win admission.
Dr. Cecil Houston, Dean of FAHSS at the time and two teachers from the Toronto District School Board, Dave Watkins and John Solarski from Weston Collegiate began the Diaspora conference 15 years ago. The conference was meant to be a culmination of a yearlong study in the African Studies course. Coming to Windsor, students visit the local historical museums & spend time on campus to experience the university environment first-hand and to explore the idea of going to university. It has grown from one school from Toronto and some local schools in Windsor & Detroit to over 200 students from a number of schools from the Toronto, Windsor and Detroit area.