Flashback to BHM Events, 2017 Black History Month Awards Banquet, Favourited.

March 4, 2017

By Shondell Orinthia Babb

February 25, 2017

The Black History Month Celebrations Committee Inc. (BHMCCI), held their Annual Community Awards Banquet at the Norwood Hotel, featuring special guest, Mayor Brian Bowman. Now in it’s 36th year, the awards banquet culminates the month’s celebrations by honouring local individuals from the black community, who have had a positive impact on other people.

“I am really happy to be with the The Black History Month Committee, to celebrate your  35th anniversary,” said Mayor Brian Bowman, 45. Mayor Bowman addressed the audience with an inspiring speech about how important diversity and eliminating racism is to him and in his civic duties.


BHM Awardees and presenters (from left to right) Front: Diane Dwarka (for Robin Dwarka), Lucinda E. Gordon, Pastor Milton Chambers, President Mavis McLaren, Dr. Cecil Grant, Mayor Brian Bowman. Center: Police Chief Danny Smyth, Andy Castello, Pastor Cynthia Frazer, Marjorie White, Dr. Leisha Strachan, Alyssa Daley, Pastor Brian Archer. Back: Roland Headley, Jacqueline Sumter, Chair Nadia Thompson, Lori Todd, Joni Phuti, Pastor Calvert Layne, Victor Vaughan.

The Black History Month Celebrations Committee Inc. awardees of the night spanned various categories, as listed below:

  • Marjorie White – Education
  • Lucinda E. Gordon – Lifetime Achievement
  • Andy Castello – Music
  • Dr. Leisha Strachan – Profession/Education
  • Alyssa Daley – Youth
  • Dr. Cecil Grant – Lifetime Achievement – Education
  • Pastor Cynthia Frazer – Religion
  • Robin Dwarka – Community

Police Chief Danny Smyth also attended the awards with his wife, Cynthia.


Keynote speaker Marjorie White inspired the crowd with a speech about education.

Keynote speaker and Educator, Marjorie White, 45 (above), uplifted the crowd about how education can improve the lives of youth and the black community in general. She encouraged the audience to get rid of negative stereotypes and to encourage each other. Ms. White also received an award for education.

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Emcee Victor Vaughan kept the crowd entertained with his comical flare. There was also lively entertainment by Rychelle Thompson-Folkes and a Caribbean cultural dance performance by New Anointing Christian Fellowship Dance Ministry.

Black History Month Winnipeg


Favourited: Black History Month – February

The Canada you never knew – now including Black History.

February 4, 2017

Shondell Babb

Attendees sat captivated as they learned that during the 1930s, the City of Halifax denied residents of Africville essential services like running water, a road system and sewage disposal. Yet they collected taxes from Africville residents, who were forced to live outside the city, about 2 kilometers away.

University of Winnipeg student Sidonia Deng noted how everyone sees Canada positively,  but then you hear that the City of Halifax had put an open garbage dump and a slaughter house in Africville. Learning that many homes were expropriated and destroyed to build a railway, without compensating residents for their loss-you find that Canada’s history was not always so inclusive.

The purpose of this year’s format was, “To get more people exposed to black history, the method was to do research and presentations,” said Lead Organizer of the Youth Symposium 2017 Research Challenge, Victor Vaughan, 58.

Black History Month Celebrations Committee, Inc.

Youth Symposium 2017 Research Challenge Presentations:

Now in it’s 36th year in Winnipeg, the Black History Month Celebrations Committee, Inc. (BHMCC) is encouraging youth to dig into their history and learn more about Canadian black history.

“It was eye-opening…our world has been connected for a very long time, but we don’t often hear the black perspective,” said University of Manitoba student Michael Archer, who presented on The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885. Archer was amazed to find out that during the industrial revolution, from one side of the world, there were demands for rubber and different metals to produce cars. But on the other side of the world, Belgium was forcibly enslaving the people of the Congo to make the rubber and metals required for vehicles, from their land’s natural resources.

“It was eye-opening…our world has been connected for a very long time, but we don’t often hear the black perspective” -Michael Archer

Held at Truth and Life Worship Center Church and emceed by Red River College student, Sappfyre McLeod, the event was youth-led and empowering.

“The focus was to have it (be) more interactive and encourage networking, socializing, and being more of a connection with each other,” said BHMCC Inc., Chair, Nadia Thompson.


February 4, 2017, BHMCC Inc., Youth Symposium participants have a discussion about incorporating Black history into the Winnipeg education system.

Black History Month Winnipeg Events 2017

In the afternoon, participants delved into group research, making fascinating discoveries about the contributions of historical black trailblazers, then presented the knowledge they unearthed in 30 minutes. The participants were enlightened about:

Dr. Sebi (Born November 26, 1933) – A Naturopathic doctor and genius famed for curing all diseases including diabetes, cancer and AIDS.

Vivien Thomas (Born August 29, 1910) – Helped devise a way to correct a congenital heart defect know as Blue Baby syndrome.

Madam C.J. Walker (Born December 23, 1867) – Entrepreneur that created specialized products for African-American hair and was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.

Harry Jerome (Born September 30, 1940) – Famous Canadian athlete who won a Gold Medal for 100m (10.2 sec) at the Pan-Am Games in Winnipeg, 1967.

Mary McLeod Bethune (Born July 10, 1875) – Educator and activist that formed the National Association of Colored Women and the National Council of Negro Women

Patrice Lumumba (Born July 2, 1925) – The first Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fannie Lou Hamer (Born October 6, 1917) – Civil rights activist who helped African Americans to register to vote and co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Hamilton Naki (Born June 26, 1926) – Renowned, self-taught surgeon and surgical instructor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Toussaint L’Ouvertyre (Born May 20, 1743) – A former slave who rose to become the leader of the only successful slave revolt in modern history, the Haitian Revolution.

Viola Desmond (Born July 6, 1914) – Entrepreneur, in esthetics that also formed her own beauty school and civil libertarian.

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Black History Month – Winnipeg Events

Eventually, The Black History Month Celebrations Committee Inc., would like to see the richness of Black History taught throughout the school systems across Canada.

The Government of Canada Celebrates Black History Month Annually

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

 – President Barack Obama

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