Black Government Leaders Summit
From June 8 to 10, 2015, Black federal and provincial legislators took part in a series of successful meetings to mark the inaugural Black Government Leaders Summit.
The event, which took place at the recently opened Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Birchtown, featured presentations by international and local experts.
Gloria Nwabuogu, human rights officer with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, explained the significance of and strategy behind the International Decade for People of African Descent.
Peter Flegel, director of programs and communications for the Michäelle Jean Foundation, described his organization's use of arts to engage youth in generating social change.
Wayn Hamilton, executive director, African Nova Scotian Affairs, gave insight into Nova Scotia's unique model to support healthy, thriving black communities.
During the summit, delegates brought forward concerns to establish the group's priorities for the future.
The leaders adopted United Nations Resolution 69/16, article 9, sections A and B, as the group's guiding principles. The sections urge working toward the full enjoyment of human rights, full participation in society for people of African descent, and toward better understanding of, and respect for, their culture and contributions to social development.
They also agreed to meet twice during the next year to tackle four initial areas of priority: youth engagement, economic opportunities, education and health.
The leaders thanked event sponsor TD Canada, for its recognition of the summit's significance to all Canadians.
Photo: Elected and appointed Black government leaders at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre.
From left: Granville Anderson, MPP for Durham, Ontario; Senator Don Meredith, Ontario; Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Ontario; Stephen Gough, MLA for Sackville-Beaver Bank; Elizabeth Cromwell, president of the Black Loyalist Heritage Society; Mitzie Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance, Ontario; Emmanuel Dubourg, MP for Bourassa, Quebec; Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Nova Scotia; and Tyrone Benskin, MPP for Jeanne-Le Ber, Quebec.