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    Lucy Oneka

    Lucy Oneka

    Thiana Richards (photo left) is the founder of TRPR & Events and co-founder of BLACQ. BLACQ (Born leading African-Canadian Queens) is a Scholarship Organization that assists African-Canadian women entering post-secondary education and or those who are already pursuing one. The scholarship launched this year. However, due to gathering restrictions, BLACQ fundraising events were put on hold and another vision was born. The Feast launched in October 2020, and it has done an amazing job assisting others during these hard times. I spoke to Thiana about the positive changes she and her business partner, Champagne Johnson (photo right), are making.

    Steve Anderson is a busy man. He's currently a lawyer with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) with over 16 years of service, and he also happens to be the Deputy Mayor of the Town of Shelburne, Ontario. In both roles, he's made history. In 2004, he became the first-ever Black lawyer hired in the TTC Legal Department. Then in 2017, he made history again as the first Black person to become a city Councillor. Barely a year later he was elected as Deputy Mayor in 2018. Utilizing his platform, Steve pushed for change. He introduced the first-ever Anti-Black Racism and Discrimination Task Force in the Town of Shelburne earlier this year. I spoke to Steve about this incredible accomplishment and much more.

    Tropicana Community Services is now in its 40th year of serving the Black community in the Greater Toronto Region in multiple ways. However, with the emergence of Covid19, Tropicana has had to not only rethink how it celebrates this milestone but figure out new ways to continue its programming during the lockdown. Despite all the challenges that have come with this, the organization seems to have emerged even stronger and better. I spoke with Raymund Guiste, Tropicana’s Executive Director.

    Anti-Black racism has permeated all spheres of Canadian society from police and civilian relationships, education, health care, housing, jobs, to getting loans from the bank. Black Physicians of Canada is working towards addressing anti-Black racism not only within the medical profession (both trainees and physicians), but also towards Black patients. Their advocacy work plans to focus on increasing Black representation in medicine and in scientific research. I spoke with Dr. Antonia Sappong about her own journey to becoming a doctor and facing anti-Blackness.

    (PHOTO CREDIT: Jackie Becky Media) Sandra Adjou is a passionate advocate of African culture and identity. A native of Benin, when Sandra left her homeland to study abroad in Casablanca then Paris, she was dismayed by the negative perceptions about Black people. Disturbed by what she observed, she made it her mission to change the negative narrative around the Black community by creating the African Identity Culture Centre (AICC). I spoke with Sandra about AICC and the need for a strong identity within the Black Canadian community.

    George Fynn found his purpose at a young age. It all began with a feel for music which grew into a passion. That passion blossomed into a career as a DJ, radio show host, theatre producer, and event promoter. With over 25 years in the media and entertainment industry, George knows what it's like to weather the storm. 

    This year TO Lives’ Exhibit Ears, Eyes, Voice is honouring black photographers for their incredible works of art spanning 30 years. 

    Born in Morocco and raised in Niger, Omayra Issa is a CBC news reporter based in Saskatchewan. In 2019, she was named one of Canada's top 100 Black women to watch.

    Karl Subban and his wife Maria have raised five successful children, three of which are NHL players. Subban is an educator, coach, leadership speaker, and author whose passion is to see young people fulfill their purpose. He has made it his goal to impact as many young people as he can with his many years of experience working as an educator.

    Justin Alliman is an international basketball development coach, with a coveted position as a mentor coach with the Toronto Raptors 905. He’s also the founder of Dream Chaserzzz Basketball Inc. which allows youth who lack support to get access to elite training. “I was one of those kids myself,” he says. Justin’s organization has since served over 100,000 athletes worldwide. Now at the peak of his success, he’s authored a book that reveals some of the heartbreaking details of his journey. It’s called “Before My Glory.”

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