University of Toronto is bringing Ethiopian culture to the classroom, and students have an Grammy award-winner to thank.
Canada is home to 70,000 people of Ethiopian origin, 70% of who are based in Ontario (with the majority in Toronto), according to Bikila Award, a Canadian organization that promotes studying and celebrating Ethiopian culture. Which is why University of Toronto history professor Michael Gervers, who teaches a course on Ethiopia, kick-started a cause to launch an Ethiopian studies program at the school last year, promising to match donations of up to $50,000, as reported by Tadias.
Abel Tesfaye — a Toronto native of Ethiopian descent better known by his moniker, The Weeknd — answered the call and donated $50,000, The Toronto Star reports.
While helping Gervers’ canvas for potential donors, Bikila Award approached the Can’t Feel My Face singer, who won the organization’s Professional Excellence Award in 2014, about making a donation, according to The Star.
“Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame,” Tam Gebeyehu, a board member of Bikila Award told The Star. “His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else.” The Weeknd shared his excitement for the course on his social media.
This article was previously posted on USA College Today.