Province Celebrates Youth Fighting Racial Discrimination
Ontario is recognizing three young leaders with the 2016 Lincoln M. Alexander Award for their outstanding efforts to end racial discrimination and promote positive social change.The recipients are:
- Jordan Gray of Mississauga, who founded the Mississauga-Malton Youth Association to empower diverse youth to be active participants in society
- Tia John of Caledon, who created learning and social opportunities for diverse students of varying abilities in her school’s Planning for Independence Program
- Alexis Kimiko Spieldenner of Niagara-on-the-Lake, who founded the North Star Festival, which celebrates and commemorates the experiences and contributions of people of African descent in the Niagara region.
The Lincoln M. Alexander Award is presented each year to three young people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in promoting positive social change. There are two student awards and one community award. Each recipient receives $5,000 and the Lincoln M. Alexander Award certificate.
Ontario is also working to address and prevent systemic racism through its Anti-Racism Directorate (ARD), which was established to build an anti-racism perspective into government policies, programs and services that touch every one of us. Community collaboration and public education is an important part of the ARD’s work to raise awareness and increase understanding of systemic racism across Ontario.
- The Lincoln M. Alexander Award was created in 1993 to commemorate the legacy of the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, Ontario’s 24th Lieutenant Governor who served from 1985-1991.
- The late Lincoln Alexander was the first Black Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the first Black Member of Parliament and the first Black federal Cabinet Minister. He passed away on Oct.19, 2012.
- In 2016, Ontario passed Black History Month Act, 2016 to formally recognize February as Black History Month on an annual basis.
“It is my distinct pleasure to join Ontarians in celebrating these remarkable recipients of the Lincoln M. Alexander Award. These young leaders have demonstrated commitment, creativity, and dedication to social justice as they lead the way towards an ever more inclusive society that is accepting of diversity. In this special year for Canada, I encourage everyone to look to their example as we continue working hard to break down barriers.”
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell – Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
“The accomplishments of the 2016 award recipients of the Lincoln M. Alexander Award are truly inspirational, demonstrate exceptional efforts, and are making a positive difference in our society through promoting respect, inclusion and equality. My sincere congratulations to all of this year’s outstanding recipients.”
Laura Albanese – Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Michael Coteau – Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism