Diaspora studies is not just for students of African descent, says Akin Taiwo. Most immigrant communities carry memories of an ancestral homeland to which members wish to maintain a connection.
“We live in a multi-ethnic society and the issue of identity is always tricky,” Taiwo says. “Understanding cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds can help you to relate to people.”
A doctoral student in social work, Taiwo touts diaspora studies as a suitable addition to many disciplines. He has been visiting high schools and community events, encouraging prospective students to consider the program.
“I am just trying to create awareness that we offer these courses and they make a valuable minor or combined major,” he says. “The demographic make-up of Canada is changing along with our immigration patterns. Understanding will be necessary for our future if we are to build an effective community.”
He hopes advisors will keep the program in mind as they provide counsel to incoming students.
Available as a minor or major within a combined honours degree, it requires courses from five different departments: political science, sociology, English, history and communication, media and film. Learn more on the program description page.