Fostering Meaningful Relationships with African Nova Scotian Youth: Meet Reann Arsenault
Each year, February marks the beginning of African Heritage Month in Canada, a month dedicated to sharing the history and culture of people of African descent. Here at CBU, we take pride in celebrating diversity and inclusion on our campus, including the legacy, achievements and contributions of people of African descent in Nova Scotia, past and present.
We are proud to highlight the success of African Nova Scotian employees on our campus, like Reann Arsenault, CBU’s Student Development Officer and Youth Program Coordinator for African Nova Scotian youth. Reann joined the CBU family in December 2022 and is responsible for working with African Nova Scotian communities and engaging African Nova Scotian youth through meaningful events and initiatives. Reann brings with her a great deal of experience, having previously worked as a Student Support Worker for African Nova Scotian students with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education.
Reann says her love of continual growth and learning is what made her apply to the Student Development role at CBU. “I saw this opportunity to further myself in my career by working with African Nova Scotian students and the community,” shares Reann. “Growing up in the close-knit, Black community of Whitney Pier gave me an understanding of my community and Afrocentricity which helps me create new ways of engagement in my role.”
In addition to her role at CBU, Reann also works as the Site Coordinator of a Cultural Academic Enrichment program for the Black Education Association, which provides her opportunities to engage in dialogues and partnerships with students and the community. She is also a proud Mom of two wonderful boys, Quinn and Gavin.
Reann looks forward to African Heritage Month because it’s a time to reflect on her ancestors’ trials and celebrate the achievements of their long, rich history; contributions and ability to thrive. “In Cape Breton, our history is varied and I learn something new every year that makes me so proud to share our culture,” says Reann. “When I think of African Heritage Month, I think of family, resilience, intelligence, love and pride.”
Reann says she is excited to be working at CBU and looks forward to connecting with schools and the community to foster meaningful and long-lasting relationships with Black communities.
From everyone at CBU, we wish you a wonderful African Heritage Month!