Friday, 17 March 2017


COBA's ' Mande Variations' will be featured in "Moving Blackness: Identity, Hope and Love," March 23-25 at Aki Studio in Toronto.     Photo credit: Yoseif Haddad
MIGRANT DREAMS: Screening and Teach-in
Monday, March 20, 6-9 pm at Nexus Lounge, OISE, 12th Floor, University of Toronto.
Join us for a film screening and discussion of Migrant Dreams, a locally produced documentary that tells the untold story of migrant agricultural workers who are struggling under Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Four panelists, including Dr. Eve Tuck and filmmaker, Min Sook Lee, will discuss the politics of migrant labour on Indigenous land. What can be done to fight abuses faced by those who harvest our food? How can Indigenous theories of land help inform this fight?

2017 Call for the Jamaican Canadian Association. Board Members Recruitment. Accepting applications now till March 20. Open positions: vice president, executive secretary, director of fundraising, director of communications and director-at-lare. Contact: 416-746-5772 Ext. 220.

Urban Alliance on Race Relations invites you to attend its Annual General Meeting & Public Forum to recognize the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Tuesday, March 21, at Council Chamber, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.
Annual General Meeting: 6:00 p.m.-6:50 p.m.
Public Forum in partnership with the Toronto and York Region Labour Council – “UNITE to STOP HATE,” 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Speakers: Catherine Brooks, Indigenous Elder
Imam Ibrahim Hindy, Imam, Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre
Anthony Morgan, Lawyer and advocate
Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor
Hassan Yussuff, President, Canadian Labour Congress

Moderator: Nigel Barriffe, President, Urban Alliance on Race Relations
Entertainment: ECHO Women’s Choir with Annabelle Chvostek, Moyo Rainos Mutamba, TC3 Drummers.
RSVP for the AGM: or call 416-703-6607 Ext. 0
# Unite To Stop Hate

Collective of Black Artists (COBA) presents “Moving Blackness: Identity, Hope and Love,” March 23-25, 8pm at Aki Studio, 585 Dundas St. East, Suite 120, Toronto.

 If all lives matter, what stories do we carry as we celebrate blackness in a changing world? Where do we find identity, associations, hope and love?
COBA presents a Season of Dance focused on the lived experiences of persons with a connection to blackness in the Canadian and Africanist realities. This expression is suspended in physicality of movement, music and contemporary traditions.

Moving Blackness: Identity, Hope and Love, explores the language of the body, social and political change in celebration of the importance of the African-based influence on music and dance in three intriguing dance pieces featuring one world premiere and the reimagined work of “ Meme: #OurLivesMatter, and the remount of
Mande Variations which incorporates ‘urbanography’ , a dance style of urban Africanist choreography.
(Voted best dance company in NOW best of the City 2013 and with a technique rooted in the African Aesthetics of presentation COBA’s versatility in choreographic themes and music
"makes you sit up and take notice for all the right reasons"Deirdre Kelly, Globe & Mail. 

The Season of Dance choreographers choose to investigate the loss of collective social consciousness and awareness in a world where the potential and its relevance today how can many stories help in creating one voice to tradition, history and purpose of future.
Given the focus on human trafficking and abuse, “ Meme: #OurLivesMatter ” which
saw its premiere in 2015, has been developed further in a response to the consistent
assault on Black bodies globally. Initially prompted by the abduction of the Nigerian school girls by the Boko Haram, the "Bring Back Our Girls" campaigns, choreographer Charmaine Headley realized with the national and international violence against Black bodies in space, resulting in the online call “Black Lives Matter,” further exploration was needed, and as an artist/choreographer, she has a responsibility in creating work that addresses social concerns. These are indeed global stories! 

These have inspired actions and activism bringing awareness to the historic and cyclical violence, abstracting the struggles and fears of unprecedented, at times, non-aggravated assaults on and of the rights of Black people. Initially created on an
all female cast, this iteration is reimagined with a mixed cast.
The work includes original composition by N'dere Nimon Headley-Lindsay.

Mande Variations shatters the pre-conceived notions of what traditional African music can look and sound like. With the use of the Kora, a complex harp-like stringed instrument, the dancer juxtaposes notions of classical and traditional movement. The dynamism of this piece also expands upon modern forms of movement with the use of ‘urbanography,’ (coined in the studio) – a dance style of urban Africanist choreography.
COBA, Collective of Black Artists is dedicated to the preservation of the cultural
traditions of Africa and the African Diaspora. The company presents traditional West African dance, music and folklore; Caribbean indigenous dance, music and rituals; and contemporary works centered on African movement aesthetics expressing modern social themes.
At the front of dance education, preserving and innovating on Africanist movement aesthetics for over twenty years COBA has the distinction of being the only company in Canada with a specialized training method developed in Toronto in the 21st century.

Choreography by Bakari I. Lindsay and Charmaine Headley, Co-Artistic Directors of COBA
Musical Composition by N’dere Nimon Headley Lindsay, Uqbar
Performers: Kadeem Faustin, Alistair Graphine, Dammecia Hall, Bakari I. Lindsay,
Aisha Nicholson, Melissa Peter, Debbie Nicholls-Skerritt
Costume Design: BaKari I. Lindsay
Tickets $25-$35 (children, seniors and students)
plus $3 service charge

CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals will celebrate creators and change makers in the community at its CEE Gala on March 25, reception at 6pm, dinner at 7pm at National Event Venue, 1000 Finch Ave. W., Toronto. Tickets: $100. Sponsor a table: $1000. Tickets at Formal attire. MCs: Mark Strong and Lola Lawson.

United Achievers’ Club – Brampton presents its 20th annual Celebrity Chef - Men Who Cook 2017 event on Saturday, March 25, 6pm at Century Gardens Recreation Centre Auditorium, 340 Vodden St. East, (at Rutherford), Brampton.

Community Information Event for newcomers and immigrants on Sunday, March 26, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Darul Arqam Islamic Centre, 585 Trethewey Drive, Toronto. Call 416-253-2729 Ext. 6250. Email
Please note the mosque is a scent free environment.

Public lecture: “50 years ‘Beyond Vietnam’: Dr. King’s Revolutionary Dream Against Our Neoliberral /Neofascist Nightmare” by Robin D. G. Kelley, Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History, UCLA on Saturday, April 1, 5pm at Bloor United Church, 300 Bloor Street West, Toronto.
Professor Kelley is the author of Hammer and Hoe; Race Rebels; Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America; Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination; Thelonius Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Africa Speaks, America Answers!: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times.

Opening with Lee Maracle, author, instructor and traditional teacher, and Faith Nolan, celebrated social justice activist and musician.
Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible. ASL provided.

Sponsors: A Different Booklist; Caribbean Studies; Academic Initiatives Fund; New College; Women and Gender Studies; African Studies; Geography and Planning; Centre for the Study of the United States, at the Munk School of Global Affairs; Diaspora and Transnational Studies; Equity Studies; Hart House; History; MVS Proseminar; and the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto.

The African Canadian Mental Health strategic planning session will be held on Saturday, April 1, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Ryerson University (Room to be confirmed.) Contact for more information.

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