BSSE celebrates Black Excellence every day!

Have you been on campus and heard someone talking about BSSE and wondered what it is? Well, this article highlights all you need to know about the BSSE and its support for Humber and the University of Guelph-Humber’s Black community. 

So, what is BSSE?

First off, BSSE stands for Black Student Support and Engagement and the program acts as an equity hub within the department of Student Success and Engagement at Humber College. 

The BSSE program, formerly Black Academic Success & Engagement (BASE), provides various services and supports to full-time as well as part-time Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber students to help build community and belonging for Black-identifying students.

What is the purpose of BSSE?

It not only aspires to equip students who identify as Black Canadian, Black African, and Black Caribbean (including Black Latinx, Black Indigenous and Black Mixed) with community resources but also aims to help them fully maximize their campus experience. 

The program assists in academic support, leadership, personal and professional development as well as on and off-campus engagement.

“[Additionally] BSSE supports Black students by helping them get connected to other campus resources such as the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, Career and Advising, Peer Assisted Learning Supports, and more,” says Jemeisha Williams, BSSE Coordinator.

BSSE aims at building a holistic atmosphere for academic, social, and professional development and civic engagement for all members of the Humber Community.

What programs and services are offered?

The ‘Circle of Queens’ and the ‘Kings Gathering’ are a few examples of programs available that provide students with an opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals.

Students connect with others to share stories, experiences, and resources. The program sessions cover a variety of relevant topics such as self and group identity, relationships, health and wellness, personal and professional development and much more,” says Williams. 

Students get to learn about available supports both on and off campus and can connect with their peers and build a strong support system during their time at Humber.”

With BSSE and First Year Experience’s support, first-year students can take advantage of Peer mentorship opportunities where they can connect with a Peer Mentor who can provide them mentorship support as they navigate through their first year in college. 

How can I be an ally?

Moreover, not only the Black community but people from all different backgrounds are encouraged to get involved with BSSE events to “engage and connect” with Black students. 

Other students as well as staff can be an ally to the Black community by staying informed about BSSE and its support initiatives and programs to share important information with Black students within their departments and social circles. 

Our allies can also support in helping to build community and belong[ing] for Black students by making connections, supporting students as needed, acknowledging their experiences, and working to create safer spaces for Black students on and off campus by implementing programming and events that will address the systemic challenges Black students experience on a daily basis,” says Williams. 

All about excellence

BSSE also empowers and educates students on Black Excellence by providing an “opportunity to empower, educate and demonstrate Black Excellence” in everyday life. 

BSSE works to foster space to engage Black Students in personal and professional developmental opportunities, navigate difficult conversations within the community, and…expose Black students to positive and empowering examples of Black Excellence and how they can achieve Black Excellence as they navigate their educational journeys,” says Williams. 

BSSE’s “All About BSSE” Mix and Mingles provide Black students with opportunities to connect with BSSE and other campus resources who can support them on their journey to achieving Black Excellence and success in their academics.

You can also check out IGNITE’s upcoming Black Excellence Conference in partnership with Humber’s BSSE.

This two-day conference taking place on Thursday, Oct. 20, starting at 5 p.m. at our Lakeshore campus and Friday, Oct. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. at our North campus, will focus on the Black community in the corporate world, their challenges, their journeys to success, and advice for students.

Students will have the opportunity to network, explore our vendor marketplace of Black-owned businesses, enjoy a steel band and hear from industry professionals during a panel discussion. Plus, you even have the chance to win an iPad Air!

Check out our event page for more details and to register for your spot now! You

How can I connect?

Students can reach out to BSSE through e-mail, [email protected], for support or to access Black-focused community resources related to health and wellness, cultural associations/organizations, and women and food services. 

BSSE encourages students to stay connected via social media and their website for more information on resources and support. Students can also subscribe to BSSE’s bi-weekly newsletter to know all things relating to BSSE as well as opportunities with the Humber community and beyond. 

IGNITE took the BlackNorth Initiative Pledge. Read more about it here.

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