Children’s author Grace Ibrahima selected as a ‘Changemaker’ in Waterloo region


Grace Ibrahima

Grace Ibrahima has been selected as one of CBC K-W’s Waterloo region Changemakers.

The children’s author was recognized for creating a space for curious children to have appropriate conversations about race and representation.

“I’m not doing my work, or telling my story or writing my book for any fame or fortune, or accolade,” said Ibrahima.

“I’m just doing it so that people out there, especially children who thought they’ve got no voice and that they’re invisible, to bring them right in the forefront so that they will be seen and that they will be heard,” she added.

Ibrahima takes a different approach in her work by allowing children to come to her with any questions they may have about herself, her life and her experiences with racism. She says it’s important to answer them with honestly to help build empathy and a space for learning.

“If I am honest, if I am open, if I am authentic, you get to those children, not their head, but their heart,” she said.

Children have asked her a spectrum of questions, from her favourite food, to whether she was the only Black person in her neighbourhood or how she’s reacted in discriminatory experiences.

Ibrahima takes the audience back to when she was a little girl, growing up under challenging circumstances, and through her journey to Canada.

The author of several books, including White Questions Black Answers, went on to present at schools across Waterloo region and beyond, such as Sudbury and Seaforth.

She plans to continue doing so this school year and is encouraging other people to join her journey and keep up the conversations at their schools.

Ibrahima also plans to translate her books in other languages so that they are more accessible.