Registration Open for Nia Summit, Led by African Nova Scotian/Black Youth

Aug 10, 2023

Led by a group of African Nova Scotian (ANS)/Black youth, the Nia Summit for ANS/Black high school students takes place September 22 at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook.

With partners the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, the Nia Summit provides ANS/Black youth the opportunity to take part in an event created by their peers, one that addresses their unique needs, amplifies their voices and facilitates community-building.

It is named for Nia, the fifth principle of the Nguzo Saba, which means 'purpose.’ It refers to the collective purpose of the ANS/Black community to uplift one another, and to build a future that benefits all Black people. The Nguzo Saba was developed to reinforce aspects of African cultures that contribute to building and supporting family, community and heritage.

The event takes place during the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia and signifies a commitment to supporting youth.

As many as 130 students from across the province will attend a full day of workshops, with speakers and a film screening exploring themes of anti-oppression, anti-Black racism, human dignity, innovation and transformative change. Components of the Nia Summit will be livestreamed to allow students to attend virtually and engage in dialogue with peers on these themes.

The summit is being organized by a group of Youth Ambassadors – high school students from across Nova Scotia – together with representatives of the hosting partners. In designing and hosting the summit, these youth bring a deep understanding of the challenges facing their generation and a commitment to collective action.

The spirit of the Nia Summit is guided by an African proverb that reminds people “If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today.”

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nearby accommodations are available for students and chaperones from outside Halifax Regional Municipality.

African Nova Scotian/Black youth who will be entering grades 9 through 12 during the 2023-24 school year can register here.


“Being a youth ambassador has given me the opportunity to expand my efforts to promote diversity and a sense of pride in a safe and enjoyable environment. As I often struggled feeling welcomed as one of the only Black students in my school, I make it my goal to make sure everyone feels a part of something and has a sense of belonging.”
     - Nathan Tesfazion, Youth Ambassador, Dartmouth

“The passion, empathy and determination of our community youth is a powerful catalyst for change. Our youth are the key to building the future. Their insights enable them to challenge existing norms, find new ways of addressing systemic issues, and create inclusive solutions that reflect the diverse needs of their communities.”
     - Sylvia Parris-Drummond, CEO, Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute

“The Nia Summit will empower youth of the African Nova Scotian community to engage in discovering the important legacy of their ancestors while being advocates for future remembrance. The youth will be the messengers of the future to ensure our history is not lost.”
     - Russell Grosse, Executive Director, Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia

“Empowering a youth perspective is vital to addressing anti-Black racism and social injustice. Black Nova Scotian youth continue to be change-makers equipped with innovative thinking and an unwavering dedication to justice. They bring an important energy to the fight against oppression. This partnership, being led by youth, will cultivate seeds of change, and grow communities.”
     - Joseph Fraser, Director and CEO, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission