YOUTH leaders from across the province were recognized today by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, for their outstanding efforts to fight racial discrimination and promote positive social change.
The Lincoln M. Alexander Awards are presented each year by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to three Ontarians between the ages of 16 and 25 who have demonstrated leadership in ending racial discrimination.
This year’s recipients are:
- Zuberi Attard of Thornhill, for founding a student association that gives newcomers a forum for open, safe discussion, and helps boost their confidence and community engagement.
- Madison Goodwill of Owen Sound, for promoting Aboriginal history and culture in her school and community.
- Yosra Musa of Hamilton, for her key role in the development of McMaster University’s first African and African Diaspora Studies Program.
Recognizing Ontario’s youth human rights leaders is part of the government’s efforts to build strong, inclusive and diverse communities.
- The Lincoln M. Alexander Awards were created in 1993 to commemorate the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, Ontario’s first black Lieutenant Governor.
- In Ontario, Lincoln Alexander Day has been celebrated each year on January 21, since the passing of the Lincoln Alexander Day Act in 2013. In December 2014, the federal Parliament passed legislation to establish Lincoln Alexander Day across Canada.
- Lincoln Alexander was Ontario’s first black Member of Parliament, and he served as the province’s 24th Lieutenant Governor from 1985 to 1991. He passed away on October 19, 2012.
Student Award Recipients
Zuberi Attard of Thornhill, age 18
- Zuberi founded the Student Activist Association at Toronto’s Central Commerce Collegiate, providing a forum for newcomer students to discuss issues and experience community engagement in Canada. Zuberi was also a Youth Peer Educator with St. Stephen’s Community House’s Harm Reduction Peer Partnership Project, where he developed and facilitated activities to examine the connections among substance abuse, the justice system and racism in our communities.
Madison Goodwill of Owen Sound, age 18
- Madison’s work as a summer student with the Métis Nation of Ontario’s Great Lakes Métis Council led her to organize Blossom’s Program, an initiative to empower girls and promote leadership. She also researched the history and legacy of residential schools, and created information kits for school and community use. The stories she uncovered helped enrich the Grade 10 history curriculum at Owen Sound Collegiate and Vocational Institute.
Community Award Recipient
Yosra Musa of Hamilton, age 21
- Yosra co-founded the first Black-interest sorority in Canada, Nu Omega Zeta, at McMaster University. She played a key role as a research student in the development of McMaster’s first African and African Diaspora Studies Program. Yosra also acted as co-editor-in-chief of The Voice, McMaster’s only Afro-Caribbean publication.