African Heritage Month


African Heritage at CBU – Sharing the History and Culture of African Nova Scotians

This month is African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia! The 2024 African Heritage Month theme, Our Smiles, Our Joy, Our Resilience as African Nova Scotians, aptly captures the enduring spirit and resilience demonstrated by people of African descent throughout the centuries in Nova Scotia. Our smiles tell stories, share our joy, and symbolize our resilience. As we celebrate our heritage and culture, we also align with the final year of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (DPAD) 2015-2024, aiming to strengthen global cooperation and increase awareness for people of African descent.

The theme also aligns with the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (DPAD) 2015-2024. The goal of DPAD is to strengthen global cooperation in support of people of African descent, increase awareness and the passage towards presence in all aspects of society.

Did you know that Nova Scotia has over 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities with history dating back over 400 years? African Heritage Month provides another opportunity to celebrate and promote the culture, legacy, achievements and contributions of people of African descent in Nova Scotia, past and present. Click here to learn more.

Join us as we come together to celebrate African Heritage Month, embracing our collective history, culture, and resilience by participating in this year’s events and activities:

African Heritage Month Events

February 1 at 11:30am: AHM Trivia in the Advising Centre

February 8 at 11:30am: AHM Trivia in the Advising Centre

February 10 at 6:00pm and 8:00pm: AHM Basketball Game in the Sullivan Field House

March 8: African Nova Scotian International Woman’s Day Lunch

March 21: Black T-Shirt day walk

A Message from President Dingwall:

Student Development Officer for African Nova Scotian & Canadian Students: Dionne Romard

Dionne is a proud African Nova Scotian, raised in the Black community of Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia. Dionne attended the Nova Scotia Teacher’s College in Truro, Nova Scotia and graduated with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Dionne went on to work at the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board (now the Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education) for the next 24 years – 7 of those years as a Teacher’s Assistant and 17 as a Student Support Worker. It was only when she became a Student Support Worker that she realized this was what she was meant to do.

During Dionne’s years as a Student Support Worker, she continued her studies at the Nova Scotia Community College and received her diploma in Social Services. Dionne joined the team at Cape Breton University on August 9, 2021. To contact Dionne, please email

Student Development Officer and Youth Program Coordinator for African Nova Scotian Youth: Reann Arsenault

Reann Arsenault is a proud African Nova Scotian, raise in the Black community of Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia. Reann joined the CBU family in December 2022 and is responsible for working with African Nova Scotian communities and engaging African Nova Scotian youth through meaningful events and initiatives. Reann brings with her a great deal of experience, having previously worked as a Student Support Worker for African Nova Scotian students with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education. In addition to her role at CBU, Reann also works as the Site Coordinator of a Cultural Academic Enrichment program for the Black Education Association, which provides her opportunities to engage in dialogues and partnerships with students and the community.

Reann looks forward to connecting with schools and the community to foster meaningful and long-lasting relationships with Black communities. To contact Reann, please email


African Nova Scotian Affairs

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia

Proud of Our History

The Struggle of Blacks in Cape Breton

El Jones performs her powerful poem for Emancipation Day

Menelik Hall Association – Whitney Pier

UNIA Hall – Glace Bay