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PROFILES ON BLACK CANADIANS

Profiles

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

Kayla Grey is small but mighty. The TSN Sportscentre anchor and reporter has seen her fair share of challenges through her 27 years but she has emerged stronger and wiser. I caught up with Kayla before she caught a plane to the NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. 

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.

Now that the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) has spent almost a year building its base, it is ready to reach out to the Black community. Ruth Goba, the executive director, says this is important because the legal clinic started from scratch with everything new -- space, bylaws, staff, board, and mandate.

As a child, Odeen Eccleston enjoyed reading the New in Homes pages of the Toronto Star, which she admits was her favourite section. She would read the newspaper with her mom every weekend and became fascinated with the featured properties. Additionally, her parents would take her to see the model homes at open houses in their neighbourhood at every opportunity.

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.

Carole Sandy, a Toronto therapist, knew something had to change after she kept on getting phone calls week after week from people expressing the exact same need. I would get calls along the lines of, “I’m trying to find a visible minority therapist, a black therapist, someone who looks like me.”

For Teneile Warren, good food has always been more than just what is served on the table.

“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

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.

 

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