February 1, 2022

 

Black History Month at AMPD

Message on Black History Month – February 2022
Sarah Bay-Cheng

Every February, York University joins in the celebration of Black History month. In 2022, Canada highlights this month as “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day.”

This year’s call to action is clear, especially for those of us working across the disciplines that make up the arts, media, performance and design. A commitment to “celebrating Black history today and every day” requires embedding the lessons of Black histories within individual and collective actions beyond one month of the year, and into daily practice.

The concept of daily practice is familiar in AMPD. Regular habits of technique – whether in dance, design, music, sculpture, writing, coding, among others – builds abilities, refines craft and empowers future ambitions. Every day, you will find artists, designers, and creators of all kinds steadily working to improve day by day.

But for all these individual efforts, they find meaning when shared with others in collaboration and commitment between and beyond the School community. As so many of AMPD Black students, faculty, staff and alumni demonstrate, creativity transforms lessons from Black histories into opportunities to imagine Black futures and create more equitable outcomes.

For this reason, I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Black excellence across AMPD this February, and for the reminder to adopt a “posture of practice” as outlined in the AMPD Equity Plan. To that end, we are proud to host Amplifying Black Excellence at AMPD welcoming incoming Black artists, designers and creators of all kinds who will be joining AMPD in the Fall.

One message every February can never fully honour the rich, varied and important work of our faculty, students, staff, alumni and their communities who build Black histories and actively imagine Black futures. Over the course of this month and throughout the year, we will continue to highlight the importance of Black history in all we do at AMPD and to celebrate those who take up the calls to justice as an integral practice in the arts, media, performance and design.

Wishing you all a joyful February and rest of the year,

Sarah Bay-Cheng
Dean