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    PROFILES ON BLACK CANADIANS

    Profiles

    Sasha Senior never imagined her first business; Bliss Skateboard Shop, would be the only one of its kind to serve skaters in the border city of Windsor between Ontario and Michigan. After an inspiring conversation with the owner of the Wood Shed Skate Shop in Westland, Michigan - she jumped at the chance to secure the perfect space in a prime location.

    For almost a century, a red brick edifice - with its smokestack looming tall - has sat at the southern edge of the downtown Toronto neighborhood now known as Harbourfront. Built in 1926, it first served as an equipment warehouse. In 1987, the empty warehouse became The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and has since featured the works of hundreds of world-renowned artists such as John Akomfrah and Steve McQueen.

    Everyone has ideas, but not everyone acts on them. A lot of us are even strongly passionate about those ideas, but yet we never realize them. This is why Robleh Jama prefers curiosity over passion. Jama is the founder of Tiny Hearts, an award-winning digital product studio whose apps have been downloaded over 6 million times.

    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. 

    Dawit L Petros has a unique perspective to offer on migration, colonization, and how all that intertwined history impacts us today. His current work, “Spazio Disponibile” (Available Space), reflects on Italy’s African colonies and Italian migration to North America in the period between the two World Wars, during which around 40,000 Italians came to Canada alone.

    Vanessa Craft is a force, and this award-winning journalist and novelist has a lot to say. She knows the power she has and wants to use it wisely while blazing a trail as the first Black Editor-in-Chief of any ELLE magazine around the world. We chatted about her journey to the editor’s chair and how she’s moving the dial.

    Did you know that about 4 million people in Canada are food insecure? Did you know that this country has a $49 billion food waste problem? Or that food waste emissions are 25 times more damaging to the environment than CO2 emissions?

    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.

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