Whitby MP to receive Madiba Award

Celina Caesar-Chavannes

Grenada-born Celina Caesar-Chavannes, MP for the riding of Whitby, will receive the Madiba Award at the 11th Annual Durham Black History Month Celebration in Ajax, Ontario on February 3.

(The  term Madiba signifies respect  and endearment and is one of the names by which Nelson Mandela was affectionately known.)

The Award honours a leader of African ancestry in Durham Region “whose struggle embodies Nelson Mandela’s values, vision, and commitment to overcome barriers in his long fight for freedom and equality,” says a news release from the organizers of the Celebration.

“Back to the Future: Reclaiming our Heritage” is the theme of this year’s event presented by Cultural Expressions Art Gallery Inc. in partnership with the Durham District School Board, Durham Black Educators’ Network and the Congress of Black Women (Ajax/Pickering).

“We want everyone to reflect on aspects of our culture that have fallen to the wayside,” says Esther Forde, chair of the Celebration.

“Back in the day, getting ‘the look’ from parents was enough to straighten kids out. Today, we seem to have lost respect for our elders; forgotten simple manners and knowing how to conduct ourselves in public places; and lost our folk stories that provided life skills and wisdom,” said Forde.

The keynote address “bringing this message home” will be delivered by storyteller Itah Sadu of A Different Booklist Cultural Centre in Toronto.

Also taking the stage at the Celebration will be  vocalists Roger Gibbs and Kimya Hypolite, storyteller Sandra Whiting, and performing artists C-FLAVA and AFIWI Groove of Durham.

The  Celebration which is  free to the public will be held at the J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate.

For more information, contact Cultural Expressions Art Gallery Inc. at 905-427-2412.