Slavery, Reparations and Education: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond

Universities Studying Slavery Conference 2023



Together, Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, will host the Universities Studying Slavery (USS) conference in the fall of 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The conference will open on Wednesday, October 18 and conclude on Saturday, October 21. Originally scheduled for 2021, the conference was moved from its original date due to the uncertainty and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a major international conference on slavery’s role in higher education and its legacies, which include the international movement for reparations and redress, this will be the first USS conference held outside of the United States. It will also be the first USS conference to foreground the history of slavery in Nova Scotia and Canada and the experience of African Nova Scotians particularly.

The 2023 conference will feature keynote speeches by individuals who are active on the international, national and local levels:

  • Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission
  • Dr. George Elliott Clarke, renowned poet and E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto
  • H.E. David Comissiong, Barbadian lawyer, former senator and founder of the Clement Payne Movement
  • Dr. Afua Cooper, distinguished historian and poet, and Killam Research Chair in Black and African Diaspora Studies at Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Sylvia D. Hamilton, renowned filmmaker, writer, journalist and artist, and University of King’s College Inglis Professor
  • H.E. John Mahama, former president of Ghana
  • Dr. Harvey Amani Whitfield, leading historian of Black history and slavery in Colonial Canada and a Professor in Black North American History at the University of Calgary

Registration is now closed
For registration inquiries, please contact

On October 20, 2023, the Honourable Twila Grosse, the Minister for African Nova Scotian Affairs rose in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to acknowledge the organizers of the USS Conference.