A Nov. 17 discussion panel hosted by the Capital Current senior journalism class featured an array of voices from the Black community in Ottawa and beyond. Pictured, clockwise from upper left, Alagie Bah of the Frontlines youth centre in Toronto; Sahada Alolo, representing the Multifaith Housing Initiative, the African Canadian Association of Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Community Equity Council; Nadia Stewart, executive director of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists; Godlove Ngwafusi of the ACAO; Sade Makinde of the Black Legal Action Centre in Toronto.

By Randy Boswell

In keeping with Capital Current’s “Covering Ottawa Communities” mission, the J-School’s senior multimedia newsroom workshop class held a Zoom panel discussion on Nov. 17 with leading voices from Canada’s black community and later hosted a virtual question-and-answer session with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Members of the class perform the core newsgathering and production roles at Capital Current, the J-School’s public news portal. Stories from a number of senior journalism classes reach audiences in Ottawa and beyond via the CapCurrent website, mobile feed and various social media channels.

Several times each academic term, representatives of various communities — whether ethnocultural, geographic, demographic or other — are invited to share their perspectives with the student-journalists enrolled in the class, encouraging coverage of overlooked issues and underrepresented voices.

The Nov. 17 discussion featured Alagie Bah of the Frontlines youth centre in Toronto; Sahada Alolo, representing the Multifaith Housing Initiative, the African Canadian Association of Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Community Equity Council; Nadia Stewart, executive director of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists; Godlove Ngwafusi of the ACAO; Sade Makinde of the Black Legal Action Centre in Toronto.

Topics ranged from efforts to combat systemic racism in policing, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s Black community, controversies around historical racism and the recent victory of U.S. vice-president-elect Kamala Harris, who will become the first Black person to hold that office when she’s sworn in with president-elect Joe Biden in January.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson fielded questions from students during a Zoom session with the 4th-year advanced multimedia newsroom, Capital Current, on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The community panel was followed by the session with Watson, who responded to questions about the city’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic — including expected impacts on holiday traditions — various transportation issues, financial upheaval at Lansdowne Park and municipal budget challenges.

There was some overlap with the community panel, too, as Watson discussed a push to redesignate a City of Ottawa electoral ward named for a 19th-century British slave owner.

Monday, November 23, 2020 in ,
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