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NorQuest College Black History Month

An online repository to showcase and consolidate materials and resources regarding Black History Month at NorQuest College.

Ribbon Rouge Foundation

Black History Month collaboration - Ribbon Rouge Foundation, Edmonton, AB

Ribbon Rouge is a non-profit foundation working for health equity for the African, Caribbean, and Black communities (ACB) locally, nationally, and internationally. Ribbon Rouge works with and in a variety of countries, including Canada, Botswana, and Nigeria. Ribbon Rouge works towards creating systemic change to combat poor health outcomes for ACB communities, including HIV and other health related issues.


  • BEAR: The Black Equity in Alberta Rainforest (BEAR) performs research to understand the core causes of health disparities linked to ACB communities. One area that it specifically focuses on is studying the economic impact of poverty on health outcomes in the ACB communities. The BEAR's main goals include information in Black governance, relationship development, and justice for youth dealing with mental health issues (Ribbon Rouge, 2020). 
  • Sexual Health Promotion: Another area of focus for Ribbon Rouge is educating ACB communities about sexual health and wellbeing in a culturally responsive framework.
  • Artist Collective: The collective consists of talented local artists who collaborate with community organizations on behalf of Ribbon Rouge. The art they create is meant to promote socio-economic awareness and empathy building inside and outside of ACB communities., Art is used as a platform to allow participants to start or continue their personal healing process and use the knowledge gained from participation in various aspects of their lives. Activities include storytelling workshops, dialogue and speeches, and artwork. One program example is the Artspace, which allows community members to share their artwork and participate in numerous community activities (Ribbon Rouge, n.d.). 

Information based on Interview  

Amanpreet Kaur, a student in a Leadership and Intercultural Management course at NorQuest College, sat down with the Interim Executive Director of the Ribbon Rouge Foundation, Tosin Fatoyinbo, and collected some useful information in an interview. The interview was made possible through a Community Service Learning project in the the Winter 2021 term.

1.      How long has Ribbon Rouge been established in Edmonton? Why did you choose the name Ribbon Rouge? 

Ribbon Rouge has been part of the Edmonton community for the last 14 years and their initial focus was to collect donations to provide aid and awareness for HIV. The name specifically came from the red ribbon symbol related to HIV. 

2.      What is the source of funding for the Ribbon Rouge?

Ribbon Rouge is funded mainly by donations, however in 2020 they received grant funding for collaboration projects. 

3.      What are the current or ongoing projects of Ribbon Rouge? 

Currently, the foundation is working on the Black Equity Alberta Rainforest (B.E.A.R); the long-term vision for the BEAR is to analyze and collect data and research to bring a systems change in health equity for ACB communities.

4.      What is one of the future goals for Ribbon Rouge? 

The organization aims to be able to sustain themselves financially and fulfill the tasks they are working on. 

5.      What are the criteria to become a member of Ribbon Rouge? 

The work of Ribbon Rouge is focused on the ACB communities, however, anyone and everyone is welcome to volunteer with them and/or attend their events.



(n.d.). 2020 Annual report Ribbon rouge foundation. Retrieved from 

partners, N. g. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

Ribbon Rouge. (n.d.). Retrieved from 


Author - Amanpreet

MacEwan University - 2021


Black History Month (BHM) is celebrated every February and is recognized by many different countries, including Canada and the United States. In some countries (like the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) BHM is celebrated in the month of October. In Canada, we celebrate this month to honour and recognize the contributions of Black Canadians and their impact on our history and heritage. Black History Month celebrations are not only for the Black community, but for all people to learn about and to celebrate the importance of Black history. This event is celebrated with great enthusiasm at many post-secondary institutions and in the larger Edmonton community. MacEwan University and NorQuest College have collaborated on a number of activities such as merchandise, exhibitions, and cultural performances. Other events, such as discussions and storytelling, help create awareness of the challenges and opportunities Black Canadians face historically and present-day. 

Events and cultural performances help in connecting people to the roots of their culture and heritage. In order to celebrate Black History Month, post-secondaries often select different themes in order to educate people on topics such as allyship, anti-Black racism, and societal and systemic inequalities. These initiatives promote awareness of historical and present-day issues and can increase intercultural competence across diverse student communities. By participating in the activities organized by the university students learn about their responsibility in society and through programs (like storytelling) they can learn about the history of Black Canadians and Black Albertans. Such programs provide a great opportunity for people to feel connected to one another. 




  1. Black History Month - MacEwan University. (2021). Retrieved 23 February 2021, from
  2. Rossen, J. (2019). Why Was February Chosen to Celebrate Black History Month?. Retrieved 23 February 2021, from