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David Divine

David Divine

Racial Diversity: North America’s Strength or Weakness?

Date Recorded: Feb 6th, 2007
Recorded At: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Recorded By: The Studley Audio/Visual Centre for Learning and Teaching at Dalhousie
Duration: 60:00  

Topic Background

Professor David Divine is the James R. Johnston Chair of Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie Universtiy in Halifax. The James R Johnston Chair is a national senior academic post covering all of Canada, based at Dalhousie University in recognition of the unique historical presence of Black people in the area. The Chair has a local, national and international perspective based on the belief of a connection between Black people and that their patterns of potential shared experience merit exploration.

The Black community is one of the oldest in Canada. The first recorded presence of a Black person in what is now Canada dates back more than 400 years.

History has shown that Black Canadians have excelled in every area of human endeavour, including business, the arts, government, law, medicine, the military, and many other fields. The Black experience in Canada can be, however, also one of marginalization, discrimination, and suffering.

Results from the Ethnic Diversity Survey released in 2003, as well as academic analysis by scholars, and discussions with community representatives, have shown that the Black community in Canada has and continues to face significant challenges. It is known that the Black community reports higher incidents of racism than other ethno-racial groups.

In this talk Professor Divine speaks of the need to challenge systemic barriers which prevent Blacks and people of colour from participating fully in Canadian Society and the Economy, and to highten and make real our attempts at cross-cultural understanding.

Speaker Biography

Professor Divine moved with his family to Halifax from London, England, in 2004, with the intention of staying in Canada after his 6-year tenure as the James R Johnston Chair of Black Canadain Studies at Dalhousie University. He has occupied senior positions in social work administration, social work education, and social housing in the United Kingdom. He has 20 years of experience in community development issues operating at practitioner, policy, and academic levels. His working life has largely involved working with the most disadvantaged communities.
Professor Divine’s research interests include: Community Development in impoverished areas, Social Housing, Community Health/Care, ‘Resilience’ both at a communal and a personal level, and AIDS/HIV as it relates to Black and other ethnic minority groups. For more information about David Divine

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