Inspired by similar initiatives happening in the United States and Canada, Black Grad was created to honour the unique accomplishments and contributions of Black Students across all levels and areas of study in the university.
On the opening ceremony of Black History Month 2019, on behalf of the BSN, then-President Christelle Tessono announced that the inaugural edition of Black Grad would be happening at McGill in the month of May 2019 in collaboration with the McGill Black Alumni Association (MBAA) and the Joint Board Senate Subcommittee on Racialized (REP) and Ethnic Persons (REP).
Black students have often faced countless institutional, economic and socio-cultural barriers to accessing higher education. Even those who have been successful in entering academia have reported feelings of isolation, fears of being misunderstood by their peers, and experienced a form of “culture shock” when they arrived at McGill. This phenomenon is well-documented by Dr. Rosalind Hampton* (Assistant Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto) in her dissertation, “Racialized Social Relations in Higher Education” (McGill University, Doctoral Dissertation 2016).