Conversations on Black History at the SU

Conversations on Black History at the SU

Conversations on Black History at the SU 150 150 wrushfel

Join SU VP Student Life Assad Ali Bik as he interviews past and present student leaders, highlighting Black history at the SU. On Thursday, Feb. 17 at 12 p.m., our guests will be current SU Campus Food Bank coordinator Ganiyat Sadiq, and 77th SU Faculty of Arts Representative Tomiwa Oje. On Friday, Feb. 25, our guests will be 78th SU VP Academic Semhar Abraha, and 51st Vice President External Chima Nkemdirim. Both interviews were streamed live on the SU’s Facebook page.

Did you miss out? Watch the replays here:

Feb. 17 with Ganiyat and Tomiwa:

Feb. 25 with Semhar and Chima:

Thursday, Feb. 17

Ganiyat Sadiq
SU Program and Events Assistant 2019 – 2020
Campus Food Bank Coordinator 2020 – 2021

Ganiyat Sadiq is a research and policy professional who has been recognized as Alberta’s Top 30 Under 30. She aims to establish substantial solutions to address growing political and social inequity through the facilitation of purposeful conversations with policy-makers, institutions and citizens. These interests are reflective of the @IAmXMovement, a social community founded by Ganiyat that seeks to raise awareness of the injustice faced by Black, Indigenous and Racialized individuals, as well as providing a safe space to share their experiences. She also co-founded and serves as President of the Black Inclusion Association, a novel non-profit that aims to achieve equity and social justice for Black Albertans. Currently, Ganiyat is a fourth year student in the Political Science program and the International Relations program at the University of Calgary.

Tomiwa Oje
Faculty of Arts Representative 2019 – 2020 (77th SLC)

Tomiwa Oje is a senior associate at an International accounting and consulting firm. Tomiwa acquired degrees in political science and international relations from the University of Calgary, graduating in 2020. In that time Tomiwa served as one of the Faculty of Arts’ Representative’s in the 77th Student Legislative Council. Like during her tenure in the SLC, Tomiwa continues to be a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion initiatives in her her everyday life and professional career. Tomiwa sits on the action committee for the Black Professional Inclusion Network and is a member of the Indigenous Inclusion Network at her firm. Tomiwa also works closely with the organization SanitaryAidforNigerianGirls an organization that aims to provide period products and reproductive education for impoverished and internally displaced women and girls in Nigeria. Tomiwa takes pride in being able to embrace her blackness authentically and works to ensure others can do so themselves. Her life is guided by a quote from Beyoncé: “Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.”

Friday, Feb. 25

Semhar Abraha
SU Vice-President Academic 2020 – 2021 (78th SLC)

Semhar Abraha is a first-year law student, and the former Vice-President Academic at the Students’ Union. In this position, she developed a unique scholarship opportunity to make post-secondary education more accessible for BIPOC students on campus. Semhar also successful advocated for the collection of race-based data within the SU to ensure that marginalized voices were recognized within decision making spaces. Under her leadership, Semhar secured funding that was used to hire students to create Open Educational Resourced (OERs), in order to reduce the financial burden of buying expensive textbooks. Currently, Ms. Abraha continues to advance areas of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion by her involvement with the Black Law Students Association and other university stakeholders.

Chima Nkemdirim
SU Vice President External 1993 – 1994 (51st SLC)

Chima Nkemdirim is the Vice President of Government Relations for Shaw Communications and is responsible for leading Shaw’s government relations efforts. He joined Shaw after serving as Chief of Staff to Mayor Naheed Nenshi of the City of Calgary for more than seven years. Chima successfully lead Mayor Nenshi’s first campaign in 2010 and joined the Mayor’s office thereafter.

Chima earned a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary and a law degree at the University of Ottawa. Chima practiced law with Denton’s LLP for over 13 years where he became partner. In 2011, he was appointed as Queen’s Council by the Government of Alberta for his work in the legal profession, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canada in 2012.

Chima is an active member of the community and volunteers his time with a variety of non-profit organizations, including The Walrus Foundation, Calgary Arts Development, Arts Commons, The Calgary Foundation and the Calgary Black Chambers.