Linacre’s celebration of North American Black History Month culminated in an intimate fireside chat on navigating academia with Dr. Chantelle Lewis.

Black history month is celebrated in February in the North America and October in the United Kingdom. The month provides an opportunity for people to celebrate and learn about the impact and importance of black heritage.

The event opened with an address by Linacre’s Representative to the Oxford Student Union, Shaniek Parks, followed by a welcome from Co-Convener of the Linacre African Network, Marielle Masolo. Black feminist intellectual and keynote speaker, Dr. Chantelle Lewis, then spoke openly about her academic experience.

“It is extremely important to create spaces where black students can learn ways to build community at Oxford and within academia; this event was created with that end in mind,” said Shaniek Parks.

During the Q&A section of the event, students sought guidance from Dr. Lewis on imposter syndrome, achieving excellence and tips for presenting their authentic self in academic spaces.

Dorcas Tuitoek, Co-Convener of the Linacre African Network said: “Chantelle, through her presentation and the Q&A session, enabled me to see how to embody love in practice in all aspects of my life and learn the importance of discipline, humility, and forgiveness. Huge thanks to Chantelle and the team behind this event for making it all possible.”

Sophie Kubik, Welfare Representative at Linacre and a key organiser of the event stated: “with Linacre being such a global and diverse college, it’s important to me as welfare officer to make space for individual communities within the college. Chantelle was a great speaker and the event proved very valuable and cathartic for all the attendees!”

The Linacre African Network continues the work to celebrate black history throughout the year. Details of the Linacre African Network’s history is available HERE.