The African Caribbean & International Association of Eastern Ontario (ACIAEO) held their Black History Month celebration at L’Héritage on Saturday, February 25, 2023. This annual event has taken place in Cornwall for five years, with the last two years being virtual due to COVID-19.
“At the ACIAEO, we work to promote our culture. We are not fighting against racism, but instead of that we are showing who we are as black people, what we do,” President of the Association, Calixte Yepseu, told Seaway News.
The afternoon consisted of speeches, traditional music and dancing, a fashion show showcasing traditional African clothing, sharing of food and drink, and more. CMHA’s Angele D’Alessio was present at the event to give a talk about mental health specific to the black population.
“During Black History Month, we did a lot of activities in schools because we understood that we need to socialize kids at school. Most people don’t know about black culture. At the end of the day, our main goal as an organization is to have an inquisitive and diverse Canada,” Yepseu shared.
The ACIAEO welcomes the public to their events in the hopes of sharing knowledge and understanding of different cultures. Anyone can become a member. In addition to their Black History Month events, the ACIAEO hosts a BBQ on the third Saturday in August.