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ADYC 2024

On Friday, May 10th, 2023 over 300 Black high school students and their teachers, from 39 schools representing school boards in Windsor-Essex, Guelph and  Toronto, and Detroit, Michigan, came to the University of Windsor Campus to kick off  20th ADYC 2019 - participants gather in fron of Dillon Hall for offical group photoannual African Diaspora Youth Conference (ADYC).   
Students were welcomed by University of Windsor President Dr. Rob Gordon, FAHSS Dean Dr. Cheryl Collier and Conference Chair Dr. Andrew Allen, Anti-Racism Pedagogies Teaching Leadership Chair, faculty of education.
The ADYC was the vision of the late Dr. Cecil Houston, former Dean of Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS). The conference is still organized by FAHSS. This year’s theme was Dwennimmen: Strength, Humility, Wisdom, and Learning.
Dr. Andrew Allen is an Associate Professor, Ph.D. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto; Anti-Racism Pedagogies Teaching Leadership Chair; and ADYC Chair.“Diaspora is almost in its 20th year, and it was way ahead of its time. The goal was to help young Black students realize that they could get to university and do well,” says Dr. Andrew Allen, conference chair.
The conference sessions create opportunities for dialogue with students who could identify with being part of the African Diaspora. The goals of the conference are to inspire young people through an intense learning experience that encourages them to proceed to higher education, whether at UWindsor or somewhere else. Over the years, more than 500 ADYC students have gone on to attend this university.
“The conference continues to seek, attract, and recruit students from working-class communities and/or first generation to go to university and has created a space for dialogue for students who are interested in or could identify with being part of the African Diaspora,” says Dr. Allen. “Based on student feedback, we are proud to have offered several thousand dollars in scholarship to attend UWindsor and inspired generations of young people through an intense learning experience that encourages them to see higher education as a part of their academic goals.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference has been held online. From 2004 – 2019 the conference was held in May on the UWindsor campus. Students stayed in residence and sessions and team-building activities were held in different buildings on campus.
In between the keynote speakers, students attended one of 15 different workshops which rounded out the morning. A group of dedicated facilitators ran the workshops. These presenters included:  Kaityln Ellsworth, Marium Tolson-Murtty, Kaye Johnson, Patricia Okpara, Petra Owusu, Irene Moore-Davis, Leslie McCurdy, Larissa Dushime, Jeremiah Bowers-Vandusen, Mehari Hagos, Monty Logan, Venus Ola, Kenny Gbadebo, Hassan Adan, Emmanuel Tabi, and Adam Harris.
In another session they learned about applying to university, OSAP, and the $1,000 African Diaspora Bursary. To receive this Bursary students must attend the ADYC conference, then they must apply to the University of Windsor and be accepted to any program of study directly from high school.  To receive the ADYC $1,000 entrance scholarship, students must apply in their first semester of studies at the University. 
During the breaks between keynotes and workshops, the student organizers ran Google polls and Kahoot quizzes with prizes for students answering the most questions correctly. The games were competitive and demonstrated students’ engagement with the speakers.
The ADYC Conference is organized by five ignite students and 20 student volunteers. 
All the Ignite students were assigned to a different workshop to help monitor (if students were having problems with the chat function to ask questions, etc.) Kyra watched Adam Harris’s workshop. He told stories of several Black historical figures who used a painful event to gain personal strength to persevere and reach their goal.
One ‘additional commentor’ wrote, “The African Diaspora Youth Conference was amazing, and it made me feel like I actually fit in. I loved everything about it!”

Watch the ADYC promotional video

ADYC 2019 - volunteers and student staff wearing their identifiable orange shirts
Updated: June 2, 2022