Three community members receive the Lincoln M. Alexander Award

By Stephen Weir

Kiya Busby and Hireé Dugassa

Yesterday, Wednesday 22, the Province of Ontario held  a special ceremony at Queen’s Park. The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented three exceptional young leaders with the Lincoln M. Alexander Award to recognize their work in building a stronger and more inclusive and equitable Ontario. The Lincoln M. Alexander Award is given annually to students and community leaders who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in working to fight racism and discrimination and promote equity and inclusion in their communities.

The award is named after the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander who was a leading figure in the fight for racial equity in Canada. He was Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament, first Black Federal Cabinet Minister and, as 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Canada’s first Black vice-regal representative.

The 2022 award recipients will receive $5,000 each. The winners are listed below:

Student Awards

Kiya Busby and Hireé Dugassa are being recognized individually for their achievements as president and vice-president of the Black Futures Lab student club at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mississauga.

The Black Futures Lab was created to inspire, mentor and empower Black students and create a space for them to have meaningful discussions about anti-Black racism and discrimination.

Community Award

Mariah Rodriguez-Imbarlina is being recognized with the community award for her efforts to inspire and empower aspiring Black physicians. As part of Black Physicians of Tomorrow, Mariah planned, promoted and facilitated events to teach students about the accomplishments of the African diaspora in science, technology, education and mathematics. Black Physicians of Tomorrow focuses on online community-building and exploring ways of eradicating racism and systemic barriers.

“Lincoln M. Alexander’s life-long dedication to building a strong, united, and inclusive country serves as inspiration to us all,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We celebrate the inspiring and exceptional students who have made it their own life mission to eradicate racism, carrying Lincoln’s legacy into the future.”