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Mapping Blackness in Montreal (MBM) Workshops

MBM is a community youth workshop series that helps and encourages Montreal youth to get a better understanding of Blackness in Montreal. This includes uncovering the histories of Black communities in Montreal, engaging with Black community activities, supporting Black events & businesses, honouring Black contributions in the city, and participating in the betterment of the experiences of Black individuals and communities in Montreal. Programming varies from month to month as I try to keep our curriculum current but you can find an sample outline of the programming below. The program is designed to be split into three sessions over the course of 3 weeks (eg. every Saturday) but can be adapted to fit the group’s schedule and needs. The fee to run this program for your class, group or organization varies greatly depending on the size of the group and schedule so please contact me for more information.

* As part of my ‘give back’ to the community, I run a free session of this program quarterly. Sign-up is limited to 8 participants and priority is given to Black-identified youth. If you’d like to sign up for the next session (February 2019), contact me here.


 

Sample Outline

Mapping Blackness in Montreal - Visiting the Archives Edition

Introduction:

This is a 3-part workshop series aimed at small to medium-sized groups of youth which invites youth to take on the role of ‘radical researchers’ in their exploration of Blackness in Montreal. The goal of this workshop is prompt youth to identify absences and misrepresentations of Blackness in hegemonic archives, while encouraging them to then create their own understanding (mapping) of Blackness through the revival of Black community archives. Through the workshop, participants will have the chance to learn about both the presence and contributions of Montreal’s Black communities but also critically discuss the realities of these communities.

This workshop series is divided in three 2-hour workshop segments as follows:

Part 1 - Addressing Absence:

In this first part of the series, participants are led through a research activity and group discussion which addresses discriminatory systemic practices which have led to the erasure and misrepresentation of Black communities in Montreal.

Workshop Overview:

Participants are given sample of print materials which speak on the history and culture of Montreal from which they are asked to find representations of Blackness or the lack thereof. They are then asked to showcase their findings to the group from which I facilitate a conversation around the absence and misrepresentation of Blackness in Montreal. Workshop runs 2 hours with a 15 minute break at half time.

Workshop Objectives:

● Build a relationship between the facilitator and the participants

● Expose youth to radical research and investigation practices

● Discuss the discriminatory systemic practices that have led to the erasure and misrepresentation of Black communities in Montreal

Part 2 - Finding Presence:

In this second part of the series, participants are led through an exploration of samples from Montreal’s Black community archives and group discussion which encourages understanding of Black community presence, contributions and experiences in Montreal.

Workshop General Outline:

Participants are given samples of archives from Montreal’s Black communities and asked to keep, and further research, the samples that they relate to most for the mapping activity in part 3 of the workshop series.

Workshop is 2 hours with a 15 minute break at half time.

Workshop Objective:

Offering materials that speak to the presence and experience of Black communities in Montreal for youth to be aware of and engage with.

Part 3 - Mapping Presence:

In this last part of the series, participants are led through a group mapping activity which physically represents their findings during the course of the workshop series and their collective understanding of Blackness in Montreal.

Workshop Overview:

Participants are asked to collectively map their understanding of Blackness in Montreal with the archives they individually chose to work with in part 2 of the workshop series.

Workshop is 2 hours with a 15 minute break at half time.

Workshop Objectives:

● Engage participants in the act of collective mapping

● Create a visual representation of what the participants have learned through the workshop

● Encouraging participants to think through, challenge and reshape their collective

understanding of Blackness in Montreal