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    PROFILES ON BLACK CANADIANS

    Profiles

    Working long days, spending hours on end alone, and making tough personal sacrifices comes with the territory if you’re an entrepreneur. The entrepreneurial lifestyle takes a huge mental toll on a person, and understandably so, it requires huge investments on both the personal and financial side.

    Janice Bartley is the founder of Foodpreneur Lab, an incubator project to support the start and scale development of food products crafted by Black entrepreneurs. 

    Diani Blanco is a single mom who went from losing her home to becoming a philanthropist, advocate and community leader in New Brunswick. Blanco, originally from the Dominican Republic, moved to Shediac, New Brunswick, with her mom at the age of 10. 

    In a city that loves its indie cafes and barbershops, 6City is more than another name added to the long list of hybrid businesses taking over Toronto’s landscape.  Owned and operated by Bahamian-Canadian, Nate Johnson, 6City hopes to be a place where fresh cuts, hot coffee, and cold cocktails are served alongside a healthy portion of culture.

    Jibola Fagbamiye Photo Credit: Cyndal Lorch | Jibola Fagbamiye at work in his studio.

    JAYU, a registered Canadian charity that strongly believes the arts provide the strongest platform to share human rights stories, is hosting the HRFF+ (Human Rights Film Festival+)  in December. The HRFF+ is an annual multi-day event celebrating the intersection of the arts and human rights with films, poetry slams, comedy, youth-led exhibitions, awards, panels, talks, keynotes and more. The ByBlacks team was fortunate enough to speak with Desiree McKenzie, a JAYU affiliated, Toronto-born and raised spoken word poet. 

    Carl Cassell / Artwork (L to R) Raquel DaSilva & Leandro Illescas / Credit: Byron Armstrong 2021 

    Server with cocktails (Courtesy of Blackfoodie.co) These ByBlacks Restaurant Week participants have brought the Tropics to Greektown!

    Covid-19 brought many long-standing social issues to light. Among the most pressing was the challenge of food security and sovereignty. 

    Jorian Charlton's "Untitled" at 330 Bay St. (Courtesy of the Author) Although often held up as a multicultural standard for racial tolerance, the history of Canada in relation to Black, Indigenous and other People of Colour leaves much to be desired.

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