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Personalities
13 Nov 2019

10 Questions With Marci Ien: Donté Colley

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Donté Colley is a force. He had no idea when he made some dance videos in his basement a couple of years ago and shared them online that people would take notice. Now, the 22-year-old Instagram star has danced with Ariana Grande, performed with The Chainsmokers and name-checked by Beyoncé. Based on the exuberance of his videos alone, you might want to call him the happiest man in Toronto. 828 thousand Instagram followers later (at the time of this writing) he made some time to chat with me.

26 Oct 2019

From War Fields To World Stage - Emmanuel Jal Opens On What He Wants You To Know About Healing From Trauma

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Emmanuel Jal went from having a normal childhood to losing everything. Born in what is now Southern Sudan, Jal experienced the brutality of war at a tender age. He lost his mother, aunties and uncles along with the innocence of childhood. Recruited at the age of eight, Jal became a child soldier. Now a successful recording artist, motivational speaker, and activist, Jal never imagined that what began as complete destruction, would turn out to be an instrument to inspire many others.

03 Oct 2019

Black, Queer and Making History - Meet Uzoma Asagwara

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Uzoma Asagwara is of Igbo-Nigerian heritage and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. On Tuesday September 10 2019, Asagwara won the seat as MLA for Manitoba’s Union Station riding under the NDP. Asagwara is the first Black, and openly queer MLA to ever win in Manitoba’s 150-year-history. Asagwara goes by the pronoun they or them.

03 Oct 2019

Mitzie Hunter Found Her Voice at the Dinner Table

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Mitzie Hunter, Ontario’s former minister of advanced education and skills development, and minister of education, found her voice at her family’s dinner table. That grounding has propelled the politician to represent her constituents of Scarborough-Guildwood, to serve the people of the province as a government minister, and now to seek the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party in 2020.

12 Sep 2019

The Prince Family: Two Plus Ten Equals Extraordinary

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Monique and Eusi Prince are a Toronto couple who give a whole new meaning to the word efficient. With just 24 hours in a day, they manage to do it all. They are the proud parents of ten children ranging from two and a half to 23 years old, and the co-owners All My Son's Hair of Art Studio in Pickering, Ontario, mentors, as well as activists. We sat down with them as the second feature in our Black Canadian Couples In Business series.

05 Sep 2019

Getting To Know Michael Coteau As He Bids For Ontario Liberal Leadership

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Michael Coteau has been in provincial politics for almost a decade, holding multiple portfolios in the Liberal government. But he says it took a long time for him to put his name forward in the race for leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.

05 Sep 2019

10 Questions With Marci Ien: Raptors President Masai Ujiri

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Welcome to my new column. Each month I’ll shoot 10 questions at someone who is making waves in the Black Canadian community and beyond.

13 May 2019

The Real McCoy - One Of The Greatest Black Inventors Was Canadian

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It is not every engineer whose innovation has actually added a term to the English language, but so it was with African Canadian-born inventor Elijah McCoy. The automatic oiling device he invented in 1872 revolutionized steam train technology. It was much imitated, but his own version was so much more effective that for many railroads, only the “real McCoy” would do.

10 Mar 2019

Ainka Jess - Designed To Dream

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Three years ago Ainka Jess was having a chat with some other women around the office. The topic was sports, and many of the women said they didn't feel comfortable either talking about sports or engaging in conversations about sports. Especially if they were around their male colleagues. “A lot of them said they kind of felt like they to ask for permission to just be a part of the conversation,” says Jess. With 12 years experience in media and communications, and being a huge sports fan herself, Jess thought she could do something to bridge this gap. She's4Sports was…

27 Feb 2019

It's Weyni's World Now

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In October 2018 Weyni Mengesha returned to Toronto as Soulpepper Theatre’s Artistic Director - making her the first woman and person of colour to sit at the helm of the city’s largest non-profit.

11 Feb 2019

Black Girl, White Coat: "Most people look at me like I don’t belong there."

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Neke Ibeh pronounced Neh-keh is a bioinformatician at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She was born in Bulgaria to Nigerian parents, and migrated to Canada at an early age. Growing up Neke recalls her mother asking only one favour. “Do well in school and represent God in all you do.”

31 Jan 2019

Kenneth Montague - Breaking Down Barriers With Black Art

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Dr. Kenneth Montague is a well known dentist, curator, and respected collector of works by local and International contemporary African artists. He works behind the scenes in Toronto's art world as one of the AGO's Board of Trustees, and as founding director of Wedge Curatorial Projects; a not-for-profit arts organization that supports Black emerging artists.

31 Jan 2019

Ren Navarro - The Black Beer Unicorn

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With a one-hundred-and-fifty-year head start in marketing beer to guys - as a guy’s product, Ren Navarro disrupts the white male-dominated Canadian beer industry, with diversity and inclusivity.

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