PRESENTATION SPOTLIGHT - SUGAR AND GOLD
Sugar and Gold – The Story of the Underground Railroad in Canada is a 50 minute lively, interactive performance that includes songs, slides, and storytelling to tell the exciting history of the Underground Railroad in Canada and the story of the first Black settlers that settled here.
Diana Braithwaite is a descendant of the Wellington County pioneers in Canada. With roots in Florida, Dianas ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad and lived for four generations in Wellington County, the first African-Canadian pioneer settlement in Ontario. Diana combines elements from Nina Simone, Esther Phillips, Lil Green and others to create her own unique authentic blues style. A forceful presence recognized on the Canadian and American blues scene as an artist with a unique sound who is keeping the authentic traditional blues sound alive in the contemporary blues scene today.
Multi-Instrumentalist Chris Whiteley was born in Kansas. Whiteley has performed on over 200 recordings with the likes of Leon Redbone and Blind John Davis. In Canada, Whiteley has received the Blues with a Feeling Award, for lifetime achievement in the blues. In January 2014 Chris Whiteley won the Maple Blues Award for the top blues horn player in Canada--for the 7th time.
PRESENTATION SPOTLIGHT - NADINE WILLIAMS
Nadine Williams, a native of St. Mary Parish, Jamaica, is a poet and author, who credits her success to humble beginnings reading under the kerosene lamplight to her family as a child, coupled with being reared by witty grandparents who spoke in parables all the time.
Currently she calls Brampton, Ontario her home. In 2008, she successfully self-published her first book of poetry, The Culmination of Marriage Between Me & My Pen, and has been actively engaged in many noteworthy events throughout the GTA ever since. The overwhelming success and demand for the book resulted in the launch of two new books, With This Pen I Do Tell, and a children’s book, Love Rocks.
In 2011, Nadine was the recipient of four awards: Community Service Award from York Regional Police, Mayoral Award as Brampton poet, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Volunteer Award, and Culture Link Community Service Award.
She has read at Queen’s Park for Black History Month, Canada Day and Emancipation Day ceremonies. She was designated as POET for Black History Month 2010, appearing on the City of Brampton’s Black History Month poster for 2011. Nadina has read at several schools as well as countless community events organized by United Achievers, City of Brampton, City of Toronto, Peel Children’s Centre, University of Toronto, York University, George Brown College, and York Regional Police. She has read at countless International Women’s Day events and facilitated workshops for MicroSkills and YWCA. She was involved in the flag raising ceremony for Jamaica’s independence with the City of Brampton, and with the Hon. Margaret Best at Queen's Park. She has been in the media several times, readings on Rogers TV, CHRY 105.5, Planet Africa TV, and CBC Radio. Nadine participated in initiatives to stop violence with MP Ruby Dhalla in Brampton. She read at the Aroni Awards, The Planet Africa Awards, The African Canadian Women Achievement Awards, The BBPA Sponsorship Appreciation Reception and Scholarship Awards, for the nurses at Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital in commemorating Nurses Week, as well as for The City of Brampton’s United Way Campaign.
PRESENTER SPOTLIGHT - NATASHA HENRY
Natasha Henry is an educator, historian, and curriculum consultant, specializing in the development of learning materials that focus on the African Diasporic experience. She is the author of Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (June 2010), Talking About Freedom: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (January 2012), Early Societies: Africa, China, and Europe (2013). Natasha also wrote The African Diaspora (2014) and African Canadian Firsts (2014) in the Sankofa Black Heritage Collection by Rubicon Publishing.
Firsts received the 2014 Gold Medal Moonbeam Children's Award for Multicultural Non-Fiction. Natasha has also written several entries for the Canadian Encyclopedia on African Canadian history. She has developed the educational resources for several exhibits and web-based projects on the Black experience in Canada. Natasha is currently an occasional elementary teacher.
Itinerary and schedule of events
8:30 - Registration / Sign In
Teachers, after you have registered at the registration table in front of the cafeteria, please have your students make their way inside the room to find a seat. We are asking that students from the North sit on the left side of the room so at the end of the performance they can exit through the back left set of doors to locate the buses at the front of the building. For the first set of breakout sessions, students from the North will be at Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Students from the South will find seats on the right side of the room so that at the end of the performance they can exit through the front right set of doors to make their way to the gymnasium. For the first set of breakout sessions, students from the South will be in the gym with Nadine Williams.
Teachers from both the North and the South can sit on the respective left and right sides with their students. At the end of the performance they can exit through the back middle doors to make their way to the Lecture Theater. For the first set of breakout sessions, teachers will be in the Lecture Theater with Natasha Henry.
9:00 - Keynote - Sugar & Gold
10:00 - 11:30 Breakout Sessions
- Teachers - Natasha Henry (Lecture Theater)
- Students (South) - Nadine Williams (Gymnasium)
- Students (North) - Uncle Tom's Cabin