Fifteen ‘accomplished individuals’ receive awards at Hamilton gala


Erika Alexander, (left) granddaughter of the late Lincoln Alexander,the first Black Canadian Member of Parliament, presents the Lincoln Alexander scholarship award to Sonia Igboanugo.Lawyer Shayna Beeksma (right) sponsored the award. PHOTO : Kobby Crabbe ,

HAMILTON,Ont.- Israel Crooks, the founder of an art project, who has mentored at-risk youth by helping  them “articulate their experience through painting,” was among more than a dozen “accomplished individuals,” who were recipients of this year’s John C.Howard Awards.

The annual Awards recognize African-Canadian achievement and contribution among youth and adults in the city of Hamilton.

On Saturday, 15 were presented with the awards at a gala ceremony at LIUNA Station.

They adult awardees were:

Israel Crooks (Jackie Washington Arts Award)

Crooks founded the impArt Project for at-risk youth in 2013.

Mark John Stewart ( Business Award)

Stewart is chairman of the advisory council of  Empowerment Squared, an  international organization focussed on youth development

Albert Graham ( Community Service Award)

Graham worked with the Out of the Cold Program and other community organizations.

Ken Stone (Vince Morgan AllyAward)

Stone is a political activist with the Community Coalition Against Racism.

Sandi Bell (Award of Merit)

Bell is the founder and president of EMPOWWORD Inc., a mediation, training and development firm.

Among  the youth awardees  were several university and high school students.

The following is the full list of youth awardees:

Tyler Williams– (Ethilda “Tilly” Johnson Bursary) Gabriela Roberts-(Evelyn Myrie Political Action Bursary)

Aba Ansa Sam– (The Girls Rock Scholarship)

Sonia Igboanugo – (Lincoln Alexander Scholarship) Salsabil Sarhan – (Marlene Thomas Scholarship)

 Rebecca Matsakawo (Nelson Mandela Scholarship)

Tatyanna Burk  (Raymond G. Lewis Scholarship)

 Faisal Mohamed (Rev. George Horton Scholarship)

Cree Bell and Cordell James (Community Matters Award)