Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Justice expert speaks at 7th annual Dr. Agnes Calliste African Heritage Lecture Series

February 21st, 2017
Pictured with Dr. Agnes Calliste (seated) are, l-r, StFX Students of African Descent Advisor Michael Fisher, Kelcey LeBlanc, Lorraine Reddick, the evening’s speaker Robert Wright, Catherine Hartling, and StFX sociology professor Dr. Lynda Harling Stalker.

On February 9th, StFX and the Department of Sociology hosted the 7th annual African Heritage Lecture, named in honour of retired StFX professor, Dr. Agnes Calliste. This lecture series was established to continue Dr. Calliste’s work of bringing esteemed speakers to campus during African Heritage Month to speak on issues of race and racism.

The lecture was given by Robert Wright, a court expert on “cultural assessment,” an approach to dealing with people who face the courts that takes into account their social, familial, and institutional experiences to best serve the broader interests of justice and rehabilitation. Mr. Wright lectured on his involvement in the case of a young Nova Scotia teen (R v X). That landmark case recognized the importance of cultural assessment in the Canadian court system.

Mr. Wright also delivered a lecture to StFX’s Deviance and Social Control class taught by Dr. Riley Chisholm and attended dinner with Dr. Calliste and other members of the university and community.

The evening began with African drumming by the Antigonish Cultural and Academic Enrichment Program Drummers lead by StFX graduate Morgan Gero. Three students of African descent were awarded Black Leaders bursaries before the lecture. Bursary recipeints are Dorothy Pinkham, Chantal Desmond and June Beals.  As well, a new bursary was announced in memory of Shanna Borden-Desmond (Class of 2016). Those interested in contributing to this scholarship may contact Lynn O’Donnell in the StFX Advancement Office.

Members of the Department of Sociology say they are grateful for the continued support for the Calliste Lecture from the Deans of Arts, Science, Business, and Education, as well as the Office of the AVP, and the Office for Students of African Descent. 

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