Skip to main content

Black Student Associations

The Association of Black Students (ABS) is a Waterloo campus-based student service that emphasizes empowerment, solidarity and progress within the Laurier and the community. ABS encourages people to become more aware and involved with the movement of overcoming social and racial inequalities in our world. 

Our focus is to spread awareness about the experiences of students of colour to the campus with the goal of ensuring all members of the Laurier community are well-informed and have a fulfilling university experience. We also provide support and empowerment to those in need and generally aspire to move toward a progressive society. Our activities include:

  • discussion groups/forums
  • workshops 
  • social activities
  • networking sessions
  • theBasement on Radio Laurier
  • awareness campaigns
  • our Beating the Odds conference

Our Programs

ABS’s programs are designed to engage the Laurier community in thoughtful discussions, developmental activities and special initiatives with the goal of educating one another as well as bonding in support of our cause.

Meetings, Socials and Coffee Houses

  • General Meetings: Held once a month, these meetings are to inform our members and others about the activities ABS will be hosting throughout the month.
  • Black Think Tank: These meetings engage our participants in discussions revolving around key topics pertaining to the black community.
  • IntellectuELLE & IntelliGENTS: These meetings are designed to allow the men and women of our group to meet separately and engage in conversations that appeal to their interests including issues that relate to their community.
  • Socials: Socials are held monthly to give members the opportunity to build relationships with one another in a casual setting. Socials include movie nights, potlucks, trips and more.
  • Biannual Coffee Houses: These social events give members the opportunity to showcase their talents for a special cause. Our coffee houses also serve as mediums to bring awareness to a particular issue so our members are educated while being entertained.

ABS's theBasement Radio Show

Every Sunday from 9-11 p.m., ABS hosts its weekly radio show titled "theBasement" on radiolaurier.com. This show is sure to keep its listeners entertained with popular, urban and cultural music as well as informed with discussion on topics ranging from societal issues to pop culture and lifestyle.

Beating the Odds Conference

The Beating the Odds Conference is an all-day conference held on Laurier’s Waterloo campus for high school students to boost their aspirations for achieving higher education. As a means of combating statistics indicating students of African descent have a 70% dropout rate in Waterloo Region, our members and community supporters work relentlessly to bring professionals and other university students to Laurier to facilitate workshops and keynote presentations that create an atmosphere of empowerment and motivation.

In past years we have had workshops on identity, business, leadership, the next steps after high school and more. Our keynote speakers are professionals in their field and have passion and relevant experience to inspire young people. The workshops, offered by professionals of African descent and Laurier students, strive to offer valuable information that will help propel young people into a successful future.

Our annual conference continues to grow as we register over 100 students each year to attend. 
The conference is held every February. Contact abs@wlu.ca for more details.

Ways to Get Involved

If you identify with our cause, you should become a member. To become a member of ABS, you must commit to attending a predetermined number of events and/or meetings throughout the year. Involvement in our subcommittees also entitles you to membership. Membership in the Association of Black Students allows you to get involved in leadership roles and to exercise voting rights when electing a new executive team. You will also be eligile to record ABS involvement on your Co-Curricular Record. Simply get involved by attending our meetings, volunteering, joining a subcommittee or joining the executive team.

Subcommittees include:

  • Beating the Odds: Committee members work collectively to plan and execute our annual Beating the Odds conference. Subcommittee members will be under the direction of the vice-president.
  • theBasement, Radio Laurier: Committee members assist in the production of our radio show. They fill the positions of hosts, media correspondents, directors, bloggers and more. Subcommittee members will be under the direction of the director of promotions and public relations.

SOUL, which stands for Student Opportunity for Unity and Leadership, is an advocacy group working to challenge systemic barriers experienced by students of African and Caribbean descent. We encourage students to engage the Laurier Brantford campus in meaningful dialogue on diversity, inclusivity and race. We also provide support and empowerment by facilitating discussion groups, forums, workshops, social activities, networking sessions, and awareness campaigns.

Vision

To celebrate African and Caribbean traditions while empowering and educating the Laurier Brantford community about the rich and diverse heritage of students of colour.

Values

  • inclusivity
  • advocacy
  • education
  • community
  • anti-oppression
  • equity

Our Programs

SOUL’s programs are designed to engage the Laurier community in thoughtful discussions, developmental activities, and special initiatives with the goal of educating one another as well as bonding in support of our cause.

  • Volunteer Meetings: Held twice a month, these meetings are to inform our members and others on the activities SOUL will be hosting throughout the month.
  • General Meetings: Held twice a month, these meetings are a space for students to discuss important topics such as interracial dating, race in the media, and Black entrepreneurship. 
  • Black History Month Showcase: Held on the last Friday in February, this showcase involves student leaders sharing their talents such as dance, song and spoken word. During this month, SOUL also runs Black History Month workshops, film series and other events.

Ways to Get Involved

If you identify with our cause, you should become a member. To become a member of SOUL you must commit to attending a predetermined number of events and/or meetings throughout the year. Membership in SOUL allows you to get involved in leadership roles and makes you eligible to list SOUL involvement on your Co-Curricular Record. Simply get involved by attending one of our meetings or email soul@wlu.ca for more information.

Contact Us:

Association of Black Students (Waterloo)

E: abs@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.1970 x4551
Office Location: Macdonald House Residence

Office Hours:

Our office is opened Monday to Friday from 12pm - 5pm.

Students please use the one card swipe for access to the building.

Community members please use the dial pad to contact the office.

SOUL (Brantford)

E: SOUL@wlu.ca
T: 519.865.6706