On Jan. 19, Student Opportunity for Unity and Leadership (SOUL), Laurier’s African and Caribbean community hosted their event, ‘Africa is not a country’ in the RCW lobby.
This was their first event of the calendar year.
Amin Ali,third-year Business Technology Management student, explained that SOUL is a group of open-minded individuals that create a comfortable space for African and Caribbean peoples’ experiences dealing with racism, discrimination and how to deal with situations.
Though it is for African and Caribbean peoples, it is open to anybody that wishes to join their group and embrace people of other cultures.
They believe in “[challenging] stereotypes about Africa and educating people that Africa is very diverse,” said Esther Osita, a fourth-year Youth and Children’s studies student.
Their goal was to open people’s minds about how Africa is not just a place of poverty and suffering, and show that they have democratic government systems, wealth, and not to mention the largest rainforest in the world.
A poster board was filled with facts and information about different kinds of beliefs that Africans hold, as well as films directed by African people.
During the event, a game was played to introduce African flags to Laurier students. This was done to open their minds up about how many countries there are in Africa as well as how the different cultures vary from coast to coast.
“There’s nothing like speaking to people of your own culture and knowing that you’re not alone when it comes to these problems that you’re facing,” said Ali.
People of all backgrounds get asked offensive questions. However, these individuals seek to educate themselves first, then educate others on what is acceptable.
The group has had previous projects such as movie nights and workshops to educate people on current events in Africa as well as ongoing national problems that are occurring.