United Way of Peel Region’s Black Community Advisory Council Examines the State of Affairs of the Black Community in Peel

BRAMPTON (February 3, 2017) – Earlier today over 150 community leaders, policy makers, residents and business leaders joined United Way of Peel Region and its Black Community Advisory Council to launch Black History Month with an exciting event: Roots, Commitment and Legacies: Examining the state of affairs of the Black Community in Peel.

“This month marks 7 years since the establishment of the United Way of Peel Region’s Black Community Advisory Council. The council continues to live out its mandate to authentically engage the Black community in United Way’s mission and to ensure the representation of our voice in the work. February also marks Black History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Canadians” said Len Carby, Chair, of the Black Community Advisory Council.

Panel members spoke about the successes and challenges of the black community in Peel in the areas of education, child welfare, and policing. The panel included:

  • Kike Ojo – Project Manager for One Vision One Voice: Changing the Child Welfare System for African Canadian Families, Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
  • Dr. Gale Solomon-Henry – Superintendent of Education, Peel District School Board
  • Lance Constantine – Author, Entrepreneur and Founder of “Speaker’s University”
  • Ohenewa Akuffo - Canadian Olympian, world medalist, wrestler, professional speaker and entrepreneur

Following the panel discussion, leaders within the Black Community were recognized with the Best in Community awards.

Youth Leadership Award
The Youth Leadership Award recognizes an emerging young leader from the Black Community who demonstrates outstanding civic leadership through unwavering loyalty and commitment to the success of Black youth in Peel. This award was generously sponsored by the TD Bank Group. Kerry Lloyd, a Brampton resident and graduate of Fletcher`s Meadow Secondary School was presented this award.

Leadership in Business Award
The Leadership in Business Award recognizes a business in the Black community that demonstrates outstanding civic and or philanthropic leadership through commitment to meeting a need in the Black community in Peel. This award was generously sponsored by the Chief Mbulu Family Foundation. Lloyd McDowell, owner of GEM’s House of Jerk Restaurants, GEM’s West Indian Groceries and GEM’s Meat Shop was presented this award.

Community Leadership Award
The Community Leadership Award is presented to an individual that demonstrates outstanding civic leadership through dedication to the success of the Black community using innovative approaches to meeting community needs locally in Peel. The recipient of the award was Abigail Hamilton, Executive Director of ResQ Youth International.

“We are also fortunate to have the support of many partners from the police, to social service, business, education, health, and municipal leaders – who all, have expressed commitment to improving the experiences of Black youth in Peel.” Said Shelley White, President and CEO, United Way of Peel Region “This is a bitter sweet moment for me because this is the last event I will attend as United Way’s CEO. But I can’t think of a better place for my swan song than here.”

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About United Way of Peel Region

Established in 1967, United Way of Peel Region inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and motivate policy and attitude changes that lead to the improvement of people’s quality of life in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga. United Way’s community investment focus is to help individuals and families move from a life of poverty to one full of possibilities, to ensure all children have the opportunity to be all they can be, and to build strong communities. For more information on United Way’s work in the community visit: www.unitedwaypeel.org.

Media contacts:

Roy Saad | Director, Stakeholder Engagement and Public Affairs
416-356-6344 (mobile) | rsaad@unitedwaypeel.org | @unitedwaypeel