The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, in partnership with the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, is working with youth leaders to organize the Nia Summit.
The Nia Summit provides African Nova Scotian (ANS)/Black youth the opportunity to take part in an event created by their peers, one that addresses their unique needs, amplifies their voices, and facilitates community-building.
It is named for Nia, the fifth principle of the Nguzo Saba, which means ‘purpose.’ It refers to the collective purpose of the ANS/Black community to uplift one another, and to build a future that benefits all Black people. The Nguzo Saba was developed to reinforce aspects of African cultures that contribute to building and supporting family, community, and heritage.
The event takes place during the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia and signifies a commitment to supporting youth. Registration is open to ANS/Black youth who will be entering grades 9 through 12 during the 2023-24 school year to attend this years event.
As many as 130 students from across the province will be able to attend a full day of workshops, featuring speakers and a film screening exploring themes of anti-oppression, anti-Black racism, human dignity, innovation, and transformative change. Components of the Nia Summit will be livestreamed to allow students to attend virtually and engage in dialogue with peers on these themes.
A group of youth ambassadors is organizing the summit – high school students from across Nova Scotia – together with representatives of the hosting partners. In designing and hosting the summit, these youth bring a deep understanding of the challenges facing their generation and a commitment to collective action.
The spirit of the Nia Summit is guided by an African proverb that reminds people “If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today.”
The event will be on September 22 at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearby accommodations are available for students and chaperones from outside Halifax Regional Municipality.