Africa Awareness Initiative (AAI)
Africa Awareness Initiative (AAI) is a student driven initiative at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Since its inception in October 2002, a group of dedicated students from various disciplines with the support of the various organizations, faculty members and staff, have planned and implemented an annual week of lectures, workshops and cultural events pertaining to Africa. The main goal of AAI is the establishment of an African Studies Program with the Faculty of Arts and to create a forum for dialogue and participation on issues relating to African communities. AAI has had significant growth over the past three years. Noticing the lack of African studies in the University, AAI’s objective has been to help and advocate for an African Studies program. AAI strives to contribute to an academic enrichment program within the university community and to engage in on-going development programs with academic, research institutions and the global community. It also helps strengthen the skills of student leaders and build connections with other partners across continents. This conference will address demonstrated ways in which students can move beyond talk about race and ethnicity to actions that affect change on campus and external communities. The changes we envision are to be informed by the voices and intellectual traditions of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora.
The UBC Africa Network is a campus group made up of UBC students, staff, faculty and alumni, all advocating for the development of African Studies courses at UBC, and eventually a full African Studies Program. They create awareness of African issues on campus through initiatives such as a Speakers Series, advocacy and petitioning, African Cultural events, and by being involved annually in the Africa Awareness week.
Canadian Students for Darfur
Canadian Students for Darfur is a non-governmental organization run by students. Their mission is to increase public awareness about the continuing crisis in Darfur throughout Canada. Their activities include fundraising and lobbying the Canadian government to become further involved in assisting to resolve the crisis.
The Caribbean and African Association is a social and cultural student club through the Alma Mater Society at UBC. The group focuses on uniting Caribbean and African communities to bring cultural awareness to other groups and ethnicities on campus. They are an extremely culturally diverse group, who hold numerous events and parties all through the year, as well as classes and trips to local destinations to help transition international students into Canada and Vancouver. Their aim is to “create a home away from home”.
World University Service of Canada
The World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a national organization that emphasizes the importance of education in constructing a more equitable world. With over 50 chapters in universities and colleges across the country, WUSC generates cross-cultural understanding and cooperation through a number of various initiatives. At the forefront of WUSC’s agenda is the Student Refugee Program (SRP) which sponsors approximately forty students each year to study in Canada. With funds from the AMS, student fees and other sources the UBC WUSC committee is able to sponsor up to four students each year. Most of these students come from East Africa, bringing with them a sound academic record and an even stronger commitment to social responsibility.