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Profiles
15 Jan 2020

Aaron Francis: Documenting Black Families

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“Things are too easily captured and discarded, which I think takes something away from the community building aspect I experienced growing up.  We attended Caribbean picnics, listened to Calypso, and took trips together...so there was a sense of family and community. When I look at these photographs, they remind me of that era.” -Aaron Francis

14 Jan 2020

Creating Healing Spaces Through Digital Art

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Tanya Turton, 30, vividly remembers the painful moment that birthed what is now the Adornment Stories, a 24-week digital arts education program. After walking through the streets of downtown Toronto with her partner who was new to the city, her partner posed a question that would stick with Turton for years to come.

12 Jan 2020

10 Questions With Marci Ien: Dori Tunstall

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Dori Tunstall has work to do.  As the first Black and Black female Dean of a Faculty of Design (in the world), she is serious about driving transformation at OCAD--the Ontario College of Art and Design University. The design anthropologist, researcher, writer, and author took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with me.

08 Jan 2020

How Sena Ahohe Went From Pharmacist To Fashionista

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Kejeo, a word derived from the Mina language that’s spoken in the West African countries of Benin and Togo, means something that looks beautiful on you. In an industry where an inordinate amount of attention is focused on body image, Kejeo Designs is more interested in making African styles en vogue for the average woman.

04 Jan 2020

Matt Galloway Steps Into 2020 As The Voice Of Canada's Most Listened To Radio Show

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Matt Galloway is set up for quite the epic start to the new year. Just a week before our sit-down, the 49-year old host had wrapped up a nearly decade-long stint as host of Metro Morning, Toronto’s #1 radio show.  His final show was part of a packed live broadcast that served as a holiday food bank fundraiser, as well as a goodbye party complete with crowds, concerts and fanfare to see him off.

26 Dec 2019

Beating The Holiday Binge: How These Co-founders Stay Healthy In And Out Of Season

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33-year-old Tameika Gentles grew up in a Jamaican household where good, but often unhealthy food was always in abundance, especially during the holidays. She slowly found herself gaining an excessive amount of weight.

22 Dec 2019

Lisnen For The Sounds

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Eyra Abraham grew up with hearing loss, so she learned how to navigate the world without one of her senses. But as an adult, she had an experience with a fire alarm that made her realize she was at serious risk. Out of this fear-filled experience, she embarked on creating Lisnen, a mobile sound awareness application. When there is a fire alarm or siren in the environment, the app uses artificial intelligence to give a notification, whether it be a buzz or a flashing light, it informs the user of what's going on around them.

15 Dec 2019

10 Questions With Marci Ien: Celina Caesar-Chavannes

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Celina Caesar-Chavannes does things on her terms. After seeing a pamphlet encouraging women to run federally she did--and as a rookie politician beat a long-time Conserative candidate. Starting in 2015, she served the riding of Whitby, Ontario in the House of Commons but chose not to seek re-election in 2019. During her tenure, the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister spoke out several times about her experiences of anti-black racism as a Member of Parliament. I caught up with her just after she was named one of Chatelaine Magazine’s Women Of The Year and before she hopped on a…

09 Dec 2019

NCAA's Woman Of The Year Is Now Focusing On Improving Women's Health

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At the age of 18, Angela Mercurio was training almost daily as a college athlete and was aiming for the Olympics. Now, at 23, she’s getting ready to start medical school with a focus on women’s health, and she’s not looking back. 

13 Nov 2019

This Artist is Redefining Black Representation And What Success Looks Like

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Gordon Shadrach is a portrait artist, Grade 2 teacher, and public speaker. His work has shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to name a few. As a self-taught painter, it’s even more impressive that he’s been selected by OCAD University as a lecturer at its How We Paint series. Prior to that engagement, ByBlacks spoke to the artist about the themes he explores through his art, the challenges of breaking through institutional barriers as an emerging artist at age 53, and what he most hopes to impart in…

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