President of the Guelph Black Student Association (GBSA) and celebrating Black History Month

[Film slate snaps closed in from of Angel Culmer, President of the Guelph Black Student Association (GBSA) sitting on a stool in front of a white backdrop.

[Culmer speaks to the camera shown from the front or from a second camera off to the side]

Culmer: My name is Angel Culmer. I’m in my fourth year of Biomedical Science and I’m the current president of the Guelph Black Students Association or GBSA.

So the Guelph Black Students Association or GBSA, it was initially called the Mumford Centre, named after a professor at the University of Guelph, but it’s a safe space for students, Black students, and BIPOC students on campus and safe space incorporates a lot of things that we do.

[images from the GBSA Instagram feed appear on camera]

So we host events. We host discussions. We create opportunities or distribute opportunities.These include work, internships and study opportunities.

Our greatest impact is probably on our discussions, and they’re weekly.

We host them every Wednesday at 5:30, and they kind of discuss the Black experience. So, topics include homosexuality in the Black community, mental health and wellbeing in the Black community. Just a lot of things that have to do with the Black experience, things that we relate to or sometimes we don’t relate to, and where we can kind of like, spread information and education.

We hosted so many events, a lot of discussions with some amazing topics and themes that were very well attended, I must say.I think the COVID limit was about 20, and we’ve never had like under 18 for discussions. So it was really, I think we did really well this past year.

[More images from the GBSA Instagram feed appear on camera]

Black History Month is so important, because like, it just celebrates the culture of people in the African diaspora.
There’s so many aspects of it, like it’s just kind of a time to come together and celebrate how diverse we are how special we are, how strong we are.
And also just like how far we’ve come from our past. So that’s why it’s important.

The theme ‘cultivating Black joy’ was chosen because I personally felt the need to make fun spaces for Black students on campus. I feel like usually we’re so focused on kind of fighting for our spaces and just trying to educate people. And we really don’t take the time to kind of relax and enjoy ourselves and enjoy the spaces that we fought so hard for and people before us have fought so hard for. So I really want this year to be focused on making safe spaces, making them fun, and just incorporating joy and just evoking joy in Black students.

(chill music)