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Afua Cooper

Best advice to the next generation  “howdy and tenky no bruk no square.” This means that it takes nothing from you to have good manners.

Aissatou Diajhaté

Your Greatest Accomplishments Some of my biggest accomplishments to date are not the degrees and the job titles I have held but the moments I was able to mentor a girl, to serve as a volunteer, to coach youths, to heal women beaten by the inequities of life, to look them in the eyes and tell them: you matter and you will make it through this…

Akua Benjamin

What would you do differently if given the change to live her life over again ? I would be a singer!

Alda Authur

“I am an ordinary woman like you, a woman who has not been afraid to extend a hand to help other women and people of all walks of life.  I am there when I am needed, and at a time when it is least expected.  I am that kind of woman.”

Alison Sealy-Smith

Your Greatest Accomplishments Surviving!!!

Angela James

“In 2008, she was one of the first female in history, to be inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame (IIHF).”

Archbishop Dr. Deloris Seiveright

Her Grace Archbishop Dr. Deloris Seiveright BH(L) serves and mentors young people, building their self-esteem respect, spiritual awareness, honesty, and humanity through her coaching.

Arlene Duncan

Her theatre credits include: ‘Sophisticated Ladies, Ain’t Misbehavin’, ‘The Who’s Tommy and her Dora Mavor Moore’ & Toronto Theatre Critics Award winning role of Caroline Thibodeaux in the musical ‘Caroline or Change’.

Audrey Campbell

Her accomplishments are many, for example, “In celebration of Jamaica’s 50th anniversary, she hosted the past Prime Minister of Canada, the Hon Stephen Harper and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller – a historical milestone for the organization.”

Avril Vanessa Jno-Baptiste Jones

Avril’s ultimate goal is one day to become a Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) and be the first black female immigrant CWO in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

Bernice Yvonne Carnegie

It has been an amazing journey to spend more than three decades working shoulder-to-shoulder with my father, the late Herbert H. Carnegie.

Camille Logan

I have always believed in the mantra ‘lift as you climb’ and feel honoured to be able to support others along their journey to success!

Carol Sutherland

Best advice to next generation : “Also, be fearless! Fear is a lie- just a series of pessimistic hypothetical. It’s not real.”

Carolynn Yvonne Wilson

I consider owning and operating the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum in Clarksburg, Ontario, with my sister as one of my great accomplishments.

Cecile Peterkin

Cecile has turned over seventeen years of corporate management and mentoring experience into two highly successful career management companies. Her team of career experts work together with her to create, develop, and manage career initiatives for middle managers, mid-career professionals, and executives throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Hundreds of professionals have successfully navigated their career paths towards their next level of career success through the services her companies provide.

Christine Williams

“There can be many distractions in life, however, my advice is to develop a personal vision and focus passionately on achieving your goals with dogged determination and never give up.”

Cynthia Reyes

Becoming the first Black on-air journalist at CBC TV in Toronto, I provided an important role model to younger people and encouragement to my community, as well as the proof that our people could perform such prominent roles and do them very well.

Daphne Clarke

From the basement of her house in 1980, she founded and was the first President of an organization called Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women (W5), which assists Black domestic workers and nannies who came to Canada on work permits and treated badly by their employers.  Today, W5 is a multimillion dollar organization that continues to serve immigrant women.

Debbie Douglas

Over the last thirty years Ms. Douglas has been a leader in the violence against women movement – particularly as it impacts migrant and racialized women and girls.

Delores Lawrence

Her best advice for the next generation: “Be empowered to achieve your goals and stay on that road to that empowerment. Be open, knowing that different people will influence your life at different times. Always be true to yourself. “

Denise Cole

A favourite quote is from the poem Andrea del Sarto by Robert Browning, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” So, my advice is to dream big and aim high.

Denise Siele

Her best advice for the next generation: “Those who choose to pursue excellence will relish the fact that each waking morning presents you with a brand new opportunity to strive to do better.”

Djanet Sears

In the 1980s, questioning her place in Canada as member of a visible minority and in search of her ancestral roots she traveled to West Africa. It was a cathartic experience, when she came across a plateau area called Djanet. This inspired her to change her name to Djanet and embrace her African ancestry.

Donna Cardoza

“I would be gentler and more compassionate with myself, be proud of who I am and relax in knowing that everything will work out as destined.”

Dorothy Wills

“My greatest accomplishment was allowing my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to direct my life and guide me.  When I did not know where to turn, I turned to Him in prayer.”

Dr. Amal Madibbo

Her best advice for the next generation, “You are the future of Canada and our communities. Think of and implement ways to improve the inclusion of Blacks in Canadian society. Be proud of who you are.”

Dr. Avis Glaze

Her best advice for the next generation: “Aim at becoming financially independent.  If you develop the discipline to save and invest as a young person, you will be amazed at how much money you will have at your disposal as an adult to do the things that you want to do for yourself, your family, and  the development of your community.”

Dr. Dorothy Anna Jarvis

Her best advice for the next generation: “You will make errors, own them and move forward. Always dedicate quality time to convince the “doubtful majority” that changes will improve conditions for others. Nothing ever changes.”

Dr. Dorothy W. Williams

Her best advice for the next generation: “Dream big and then take your time to get there.”

Dr. Kimberley Tavares

She quotes: “First We Must Motivate, Then Educate…If we are teaching the irrelevant to the disinterested, then we have lost before we have even begun.”

Dr. Miriam Rossi

On her greatest accomplishments she states: I believe the greatest accomplishments during my career in the Health Sciences was (a) to be instrumental in bringing about a change in the admission procedures that allowed a larger number of minority students to enter the field of Health Sciences at the University of Toronto; (b) not second, but equally important, was the founding of the Mentoring Program at the Faculty of Medicine for underachieving minority high school students that allowed more students to gain the confidence to apply and be accepted to programs in Health Sciences at various universities.

Dr. Remi Ogundimu

Her advice for the next generation is to: “Set a goal for yourself –work hard to achieve your dream. Seek help, don’t be discouraged —- be organised, maintain your confidence, be supportive of others, avoid being judgemental. Cherish your family and be involved in your community.”  

Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard. BA, MSW, RSW, PhD, CM

Her advice for the next generation: “Also, maintain focus and balance in life, taking care of self, family and giving back to our communities. We all have a responsibility to leave our community in a better, stronger place.”

Enid Lee, M.A

Her advice for the next generation: Never get used to injustice. It is an unnatural condition. Even if you cannot remove the injustice today, continue to call it by its correct name. You are strong as a Black person when the Black communities are strong. Every day ask yourself, “What is one small act that I can engage in to make my community strong?” Once you have answered the question, make sure you work on it. A strong Black person is one who works in solidarity with other Black people and is lovingly critical of actions that diminish our strength…

Esther Enyolu

Her favourite quote is: “Do not judge a book by its cover, rather by its content”.

Ettie E. Dawkins

She arrived in Canada from England in 1968, enrolled at Patricia Stevens Finishing School, and went on to become a successful model for 15 years.

Ettie Rutherford

Ettie’s goal is to continue using her consulting businesses, Women Are Worthy, and ER – Education-Services to enable women to realize their worth and attain success in the workplace and as parents. In order to give women meaningful service she has recently developed three programs: “R-I-S-E-U-P”, “Women Balancing Home and Work” and “Parenting With a Vision”.

Eunadie Johnson

Her advice for the next generation: Learn and know the system within which they live. Do not compromise when there is an attempt to belittle or make them feel less, because of their race/gender etc. They cannot be anyone but who they are.

Evangeline Cain-Grant

If I were to live my life over again, I would not change anything because I would not be the person that I am today but for the individual and collective challenges to achieve the human qualities of dignity, justice and equality.

Evelyn L. Myrie

Evelyn is known as a “change agent” who lives by the motto: BE the change you want to see.

Floydeen Charles-Fridal

One of her greatest accomplishments is becoming the first Black female to earn a Black Belt from the Yung Ho School of Tae Kwon Do, Florida, U.S.A. and then becoming state champion in the sport.

Frances-Anne Solomon

Her advice for the next generation: Believe in yourself; follow your instincts; manifest your dreams; make mistakes, acknowledge them, forgive yourself, move on. Above all, live Large – be open-hearted and generous with your Gifts: you have the power to change the world that you live in. There is nothing standing in your way but your own fears.

Gemma Raeburn-Baynes

What would she do differently: “Nothing! … But, since you asked the only thing that I would like to be different, and that’s not up to me really…. is to have grandchildren.  But at 65 years young and still going strong – I’m not giving up hope!”

Grace Carter-Henry Lyons

Grace attributes her success to the educational training she received from the University of Toronto, York University, the Royal School of Music, Trinity School of Music, the Ontario Real Estate Association and the Institute of Canadian Bankers.  As a result of all her training, she held positions as a Bank Manager for 15 years, and a Real Estate Professional for 20 years and did all this while holding the position as Founder and Director of the Heritage Singers together with being involved in many community services.

Gwyneth Matthew-Chapman

My best advice for the next generation We must live in a way that demonstrates that ‘We Are our Brothers’ Keepers’.  When we live a life that’s not only about ourselves but others as well, we grow, move, develop collectively and personally as champions. Remember the contributions of those who’ve gone on before us; take their passion and love and use that to inspire you to be your very best.  Honor your parents always.

Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, PC, CM, CBE

Every year, she makes a better future for young women through the Jean Augustine Scholarship, a fund that helps single mothers attend George Brown College and a Young Entrepreneur at Centennial College in Toronto. She also has an academic scholarship at Humber College for youth in her former constituency of Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

Honourable Madame Justice Micheline Rawlins

She has received, among other awards, the African-Canadian Achievement Award in Law in 1997 that was sponsored by the Nelson Mandela Academy of Legal Study, founded and organized by Pride magazine, the award for Outstanding Contribution to Women, to Law and to Canada from the National Congress of Black Women and was honoured in 2004 as Windsor’s Woman of the Year by the Windsor Women’s Incentive Centre. The University of Windsor awards a yearly scholarship, in her name, to financially deserving minority students.

Itah Sadu

When meeting Itah Sadu, the first thing you will see is her smile, and the first thing you will notice is her warmth. As a dynamic entrepreneur and community builder, she utilizes creativity, leadership, and teamwork to build infrastructure and legacy in communities. Her objective is simple and to the point—to work with organizations that engage in programs for youth with the focus on education, pathways, and community economic development.

Janice Gairey

Her history is entrenched in working with the communities of colour and comes from her father, the late Desmond Davis, who was a pivotal member of the Black Sleeping Car Porters together with Stan Grizzle and the late Harry Gairey.  She has amassed over fifty years as a social justice advocate, with a primary focus on combating racism in Canada.

Jennifer Clarke

What is your best advice for the Next Generation? People who believe in you, can inspire and mentor you to be your best, and can help you achieve your dreams.

Jennifer Singh B.A. M.B.A

She is the only Seneca employee that has experienced Seneca from all its vantage points: student, staff, faculty and administrator (it is difficult to move from support staff to either faculty or administration).

Jenny Gumbs

Churchill is credited with many famous quotes, but one of my favourite states “attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”.

Joan Butterfield

Matriarch to the community of Afro Artists in Toronto, Joan has written a book, Starving Artist’s Guide to Riches, and hundreds of articles that encourage and assist budding artists to maximize their talents.

Juanita Westmoreland-Traore

My most significant achievements have been shared achievements. I believe the most significant is my enduring relationship with so many former students who are now actively engaged in many social justice causes, moving the yardstick further. I also believe my involvement in the mobilization to win an expanded definition of equality in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was very rewarding.

June Girvan

Asked about her greatest accomplishments, she names “being named among 100 Accomplished Black Women in Canada” as one of them.

June Veecock

As the Director of Human Rights, June was a very effective advocate for workers experiencing racism and discrimination in the workplace. She deftly and diplomatically handled many cases, that although she is now retired, workers still call upon her for help in those cases where employers want to skirt the rights of workers.

Kamala-Jean Gopie

When she was honoured with the the City of Toronto Award she said: ” I shall not pass this way again. Any good thing that I can do, or any kindness  that I can show, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again…..”I am more interested in the here and now than the hereafter- that’ll take care of itself”.

Karen Burke

Born in Brantford, Ontario, Karen Burke’s love for gospel music was nurtured through the strong musical legacy of her family, whose roots on both sides can be traced back to the 1800s in Ontario.

Karine Morin

Constantly in thirst of supporting cultures, she developed social justice programs, employability, and prevention programs for francophone youth at risk. She travelled to South Africa for humanitarian causes. She developed economic missions in Senegal, Cameroon, and Gabon. She established the first internship program for French Canadian youth locally and abroad, and that experience has deepened her desire to serve others.

Kay Blair

According to Maya Angelou “All Great Accomplishments require time”. I am therefore very thankful for life, and operating from this perspective, my greatest accomplishment might be being a good mother to a fabulous daughter and an inspiration for my family and friends.

Liberty Silver

Adopted shortly after birth, Liberty was raised by a British family in rural Peterborough, Canada. She had a great family, but Liberty was faced with racism at an early age in school. She found solace in the basement of her parent’s house with a piano and hundreds of old jazz and classical records from her father’s collection.

Lillie Johnson

She was invested into the Order of Ontario, in 2011, the province’s highest honour, for her work with Sickle Cell Association of Ontario. She was named Toronto Public Health Champion in 2009 and has received numerous community and academic awards. Her career culminated in being named the Province’s first Black Director of Public Health, in Leeds-Grenville and Lanark, Ontario. She published her autobiography, My Dream, in 2014.

Linda Carter

She recalls that in 1954, her parents purchased a new home in Etobicoke. A petition was circulated to keep them out of the then all-White neighbourhood. It was instigated by another Toronto attorney! The petition failed, the instigator moved, and the Carter family went on to wonderful lifelong friendships with the neighbours.

Madeline Edwards

Receiving the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour is an accomplishment she treasures. She is delighted to have represented her community and be recognized for it. Another of her delightful accomplishments is being co-founder of the Congress of Black Women Mississauga Chapter and starting the program “Suffering in Silence” to assist women in their communities, escape abusive relationships.

Margarett Best

The words “your health is your wealth, it is the most important asset you have, invest in it” was something she tried to impart to others as the foundation on which you can build other successes. She continued to say that she has spent the last two years practicing what she preached, by investing in her health and wellness.

Maria Da Silva

Her best advice for the next generation is to “Respect your parents, say no to drugs, help one another, develop your intellect constantly, and prepare yourselves to become the leaders that this world needs in order to become a better place.”

Marsha Brown

Marsha is best known as a social justice advocate, working with mainstream media outlets such as City TV, CBC and Global News to platform issues related to affordable childcare, poverty and woman abuse.

Mary Anne Chambers

Your Greatest Accomplishments The citation for my Order of Ontario states that I “have served the people of Ontario with a profound dedication”. I embrace that with pride and humility because I have always wanted to play a part in helping others to access the opportunities they need to achieve their potential.

Mitzie Hunter

Prior to becoming an MPP, Hunter was CEO of the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance where she championed solutions to some of the region’s toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges. Prior to that, she served as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, which is Canada’s largest social housing provider with $6 billion in real assets.

Nadine Spencer

My best advice is “consistency.” Do what you love and always improve upon it. If you pursue your passion, success is imminent. Stay focused and keep pushing through. Go the extra mile and add value to everything you do, at work, at play, and as a volunteer.

Nalda Callender

Nalda views community building as a process for societal change and says “it means change in the level at which people participate in the social, economic and political life of the society and also, change in the ways they have access to societal resources.”

Nancy Simms

Her studies have culminated in her most recent work, Against All Odds: Black Female Faculty Thriving in Post-Secondary Institutions. Currently, Nancy is the director of the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Diversity at Humber College where her principal task is to weave human rights and equity into the fabric of the college community at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and administrative levels.

Nerene Virgin

Nerene is guided by words her mother instilled in her as a child, “You come into this world owning your dignity and decency, and you will leave with those traits intact unless you forfeit them along the way.”

Nneka Bowen

If I were to live my life over again, what would I do differently? All my successes have humbled me and caused me to never forget where I started.

Notisha Massaquoi

As Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands CHC, I note that many of the women who were coming to receive healthcare did not have Canadian status. Usually, they would come only because they were pregnant and had to deliver their child. When the birth took place, the child would not have Canadian status, because the mom did not have Canadian citizenship. This was happening very frequently, so the staff began to lobby to have the law changed. After three years of constant lobbying, they were successful in supporting the passing of a bill that children born in Canada,…

Patricia Bebia Mawa

My biggest accomplishment in life is finding my purpose and living it.  The opportunity to educate, entertain and shape opinions through the media is a privilege I do not take lightly.

Paulette Kelly

If she could live her life over again, she would “Make decisions that make me happy, and not always put other people’s wants ahead of my own needs and happiness.”

Paulette Senior

Her best advice for the next generation: I have made it a personal priority over the past few years to both mentor and be mentored by young people, in particular young women. I welcome the opportunity to connect with young people, discover what the world looks like for them and how they’re experiencing it; essentially walking in their shoes. I am committed to working multi-generationally, as I believe it to be a critical opportunity to lifelong learning and growth. This type of learning is not one-dimensional, but provides opportunity to exchange knowledge, share perspectives, and discover the world through the…

Pauline Christian

Pauline is the current President for the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA). For over 20 years, she worked at Bell Canada in various capacities, mostly leadership. She is passionate about using leadership to mobilize, harmonize and develop the Black community to realize socio-economic improvement and advancement.

Penelope Hodge (Anderson)

Penelope Hodge is a 7th generation Canadian, born in Digby, Nova Scotia and moved with the family to Greenville, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia where she grew up on a small farm. As a result of the American Revolution her ancestors arrived in Nova Scotia between 1783-1785. Thousands of slaves who were forced to provide labour in the United States of America, joined the British army to fight the American rebels in exchange for protection, freedom and land in Canada. She is a descendant of these courageous black men who became known as Black Loyalists.

Rita M. Cox

She has been described as “an exceptional individual who, through her love for the spoken and written word, has inspired people of all ages and has opened the literary world to her audiences”.

Rose-Ann Bailey

Rose-Ann interprets her personal observations, the vulnerability of her subject’s body image, gender identity, and sexuality, through a post-colonial identity construction and health equity lens. Her discursive and figural production on the visual representation for non-conforming racialized, sexual and gender identities emotionally interrupts the media’s narrow assumptions about Black men and women’s personhood.

Rosemary Sadlier

She is the author of six books on African Canadian history and consultant/co-author of Black History: Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas (Emond Montgomery Pub.) selected as the textbook for all schools in Nova Scotia. Her recent books include Harriet Tubman: Freedom Seeker, Freedom Leader by Dundurn Press, and a publication with Pearson: The Only One.

Sandra Jones

For the next generation, I would encourage them to keep their focus on the Prize, believe in themselves always and share with others so that they can be leaders also. Networking is a given, so, keep up with the people who can help. Also, remember that the older generation are still able to assist when called upon, and that the activities in their church, do make a difference.

Sandra Whiting

“When we give back to others, we help ourselves.”

Sharon Joseph

In the midst of Sharon’s work within communities and agencies, she has established an annual Peace Walk and Fair in the Jane and Finch community. Sharon developed a memorial of victims as a teaching piece to educate young people of the danger and impact that stems from gun violence.

Shernett Martin

It is not the numerous awards and accolades that make Shernett Martin qualified for inclusion in this publication, but what she has done tirelessly to earn them. She is known for getting tasks done with passion and without giving any thought to who is paying attention.

Stacey Berry

Her best advice for the next generation is to “Maintain a diverse network, be conscious of the world around you, invest in your personal development and be authentically you.”

Stephnie Yarde-Payne

My advice to the next generation would be to become literate, because I am seeing a new breed of illiterate young people, and hopefully the next generation will be better equipped to compete in the global market.

Terese Sears

Sears became a much loved fixture on Global, and traveled the world as a reporter. She says she interviewed “Everyone from Prime Ministers to prime suspects.” Terese is also a founding member of the Canadian Association of Black Journalists. After nearly twenty years in news gathering, the award-winning journalist decided to make a quality of life shift to focus on her other passion—interior design.

Thando Hyman

Thando Hyman was the first Principal of Toronto’s Africentric Alternative School which opened its doors in September 2009 for students from JK to Grade 5. Due to the overwhelming response and support for the school, the enrollment doubled to 160 students by the end of its first week in September 2009. In its second year, the Africentric Alternative School made national headlines when the inaugural Grade 3 class significantly outperformed both the school board and the province with 69% in reading, and 81% in writing and mathematics. With the success of the Africentric Alternative School, the T.D.S.B. has now commenced…

Tracey-Acadia Thomas

Her best advice for the next generation: Never allow your circumstances to dictate your place in life. I grew up in a very dysfunctional environment and was forced to leave home at the tender age of thirteen. I had to make it on my own. If I listened to the negative words that were spoken about me, I never would have come this far. I chose God to be my strength and my source. And through His directed hand in my life, I have had the humble opportunity to experience wonderful things.

Valarie Steele

On her greatest accomplishment she states: My role as a mother is my greatest accomplishment. Raising my two children in an inhospitable environment has given me immeasurable strength. My community work and the contributions I have made over the years are also very rewarding.

Wilma Francis

On February 5, 2013, Mrs. Francis was bestowed the Queen’s Jubilee Award under the auspices of Bob Delaney MPP, for her community service. She also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Jamaica Visionaries Association Inc. in 2015, for her dedication and support of the organization for several years.

Yara Vasconcelos

Even at six years of age, adults were astounded by her art skill, not believing she had drawn such intricate pieces herself. At eleven, Yara moved to Canada where her passion and skills blossomed. When she arrived in the country, Yara did not speak English, and so she used the language of art and dance to express herself.

Yvette Blackburn

A very forward thinking individual who does not sit in indifference when wrongs are being committed. Even in the face of adversity, she champions the rights of citizens, believes in the principles of fairness, and the public voice.

Yvonne Bobb

Ms. Bobb has been elected to every executive position in Local 520 and also served as Co‐Chair of the Ministry’s Employment Relations Committee, bargaining as OPSEU’s representative. She made sure that members were represented fairly; that the collective agreement was enforced and that due process was adhered to, during layoffs and downsizing.

Zanana Akande

Zanana Akande was born in downtown Toronto in the Kensington Market district. Her parents came from St. Lucia and Barbados, where they had worked as teachers. They were prevented from continuing their careers in Canada, because at that time, Blacks were not allowed to hold teaching positions.