WHO WE ARE:
TRAD is a grassroots educational organization. We create African centered educational experiences, publish tradmag.ca, and create learning tools for students, teachers, and community. TRAD Magazine is the publication for African ideas and collective memories. We are on a mission to restore and renew our peoples' traditions.
TRAD began as a campus club at McMaster University in 2013. Thanks to a three-year, grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, students in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton will be engaged in exploring African cultures, ideas, philosophies and traditions.
We create TRAD to document and honor the strengths and contributions of our peoples across time, and build on their legacy. Revisiting traditional and contemporary worldviews will allow us to reflect on the institutions we build, the way we organize our lives and societies and explore the limits of what we believe is possible in our lives and societies. We choose to write, think, and dream about the world on our terms.
West African mystics spoke of the turning of an age - a period where children will seek to remember the ways of their ancestors after a period of invasion and famine. They spoke of a burning curiosity that will drive the children of the displaced back home. It is impossible to know if that era is now. We do know that in our personal lives, in the lives of our team, and our organisation, we are animated by an ancestral force, and a historical logic that brings us to you, now. TRAD feels timely, necessary, and deeply urgent.
Building TRAD has been an exceptionally rewarding experience for us. It feels like the thing we have been searching for all our lives. A place we can come to with our whole selves. I hope you find some of what you are looking for reading through these pages. Please support us. Read, engage, share, like subscribe.
We are supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Youth Opportunities Fund, and mentored by Empowerment Squared. To them, we are deeply grateful.
We created TRAD because we owe this to ourselves.
Welcome to TRAD.
- Building community - We exist to serve our community and communities. We want to build pride, self-efficacy, and confidence.
- Inclusivity and Respect - We respect our audience, our colleagues. We respect individual voices, histories, and identities. Listen with an open mind, practice empathy and avoid arrogance.
- Intellectual honesty and curiosity - We don't know what we don't know. We rely on our elders, the guidance of our ancestors, and our community as we go on this journey of discovery. We expect our platform be the beginning of discovery, and our readers take it upon themselves to learn more.
- Ecumenicalism - We are not committed to any singular intellectual tradition, spiritual tradition, or worldview but draw from multiple traditional and contemporary epistemology to develop deeper understanding of ideas, and a holistic appreciation of the capacity of the human spirit and imagination.
- Challenging conventional wisdom -Challenging conventional wisdom -We will open ourselves to a world of possibility. Sometimes it will be uncomfortable. We will see that our conventional wisdom is just conventional - that what we think is natural is merely cultural; temporal, not eternal; particular, not universal. We will explore how the world has existed in the past, and inquire if it possesses any tools we can repossess.