Recognizing excellence and community impact for African Heritage Month

Community groups and Facilities Management staff honoured

- February 28, 2024

Dalhousie leaders, community members and award recipients gather together at the 2024 African Heritage Month launch event (Nick Pearce photos).
Dalhousie leaders, community members and award recipients gather together at the 2024 African Heritage Month launch event (Nick Pearce photos).

This year's African Heritage Month celebrations have provided many opportunities to dive into the history, culture and contributions of communities in the African diaspora.

Kicking off at Dalhousie with a launch event and flag raising on Feb. 1, the month has featured art exhibitions and performances, awareness campaigns and panel discussions, light shows and more. 

In this spirit of celebration, Dalhousie's African Heritage Month committee also presented certificates of recognition to outstanding and impactful community organizations and staff this month. 

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Three local individuals and groups received awards for outstanding work in promoting Rest, Reflection, and Revival — this year's theme at Dalhousie. In addition, three recently or about-to-retire Facilities Management staff received awards for their unwavering contributions to creating a healthy and safe learning and working environment at Dalhousie. 

Read more about each recipient below.

Black Wellness Cooperative

The Black Wellness Cooperative is a collective of health, wellness, and fitness professionals who believe passionately that health is of the utmost importance and every individual should be afforded opportunities for wellness. The group seeks to provide the Black community in Nova Scotia with the chance to learn and grow through their peers and representation. The group hosts fitness and health-focused events and sessions and is committed to providing its expertise, knowledge, and training to communities that have been marginalized or underserved and groups of all ages.

From left to right: Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley, Micah Brown, Nikki Martin, Grace Jefferies-Aldridge.

Allen Crooks

Allen Crooks is a photographer and owner of Halifax Darkroom and Studio, a member-based space and community of film photographers. His photography captures the essence of shared experiences, celebrating the resilience and vibrancy of the African Nova Scotian community from varied perspectives. His exhibition, entitled "Family Matters," is featured in the Dalhousie Art Gallery until April 7, 2024. It serves as a testament to enduring strength and rich cultural heritage, showcasing the beauty found in the nuances of daily life and the invaluable ties that bind us together.

Recommended readingBlack identity, artistry and power celebrated in new Dal exhibitions

Dalhousie African Student Association

The Dalhousie African Student Association (DASA) is an entirely student-run society that aims to provide representation for all students of African descent at Dalhousie. DASA has been in action for 20 years, organizing events such as African Night, which is the largest Afrocentric/Black student-run event at Dal. DASA also strives to provide connections and community for any student of African descent by promoting cultural awareness.

Marty Loppie 

Marty (Percy) Loppie is from Northend Halifax and grew up in Uniacke Square and the surrounding area. When he was 13 years old, he represented Nova Scotia in the 1979 Canadian winter games in Brandon, Manitoba for speed skating. As the first Black speedskater to represent Nova Scotia and one of the first in Canada, this time was special for him. His love of sport and fond memories of his experience speedskating led him to volunteer as a baseball coach at the community YMCA for 13 years. In the following years, he began a career in Facilities Management at Dalhousie, working first as a custodian, second as a grounds person, and, lastly, as a vehicle operator. In his retirement, Marty has reconnected with his roots in volunteering and supporting community initiatives. He participates in African Drumming, while mentoring and supporting in any way he can. Marty is looking forward to spending time with his grandson and supporting his community in retirement.

From left to right: Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley, Grace Jefferies-Aldridge, Marty Loppie, Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch.

Anthony Jones

Anthony Jones worked at Dalhousie for more than 30 years. During his time at Dal, he enjoyed talking to the many students from around the world. He is the father of two beautiful children and is looking forward to more gardening and kayaking in his retirement. 

From left to right: Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley, Grace Jefferies-Aldridge, Anthony Jones, Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch.

Raymond Bundy

Raymond (Ray) Bundy worked at Dal for 34 years and will retire the end of March. He has 6 children — three of his own and three adopted children. He is from the community of Cherry Brook, N.S. In his spare time, Ray enjoys spending time at his church and fellowshipping with a older father figure from East Preston whose time he enjoys. On Fridays, Ray makes time for playing darts.

From left to right: Dr. Theresa Rajack-Talley, Grace Jefferies-Aldridge, Ray Bundy, Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch.


Visit the Office for Equity and Inclusion website for more information about African Heritage Month and events and campaigns on campus. 


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