Passing the Torch Awards

 
August 1, 2021
9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Online​​​ (WebEx)

Presented by the Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit, the annual Awards will acknowledge Black young achievers who are making a positive change in the community. It aims to bring together Black community trailblazers and Black youth achievers, allowing the trailblazers to “pass on the torch”, symbolizing the path to success.​ Recognizing the “torch” to be a beacon of liberation, conquest, achievement, and contributions, the Awards tributes the transference and inheritance of wisdom, struggle, and resilience from longtime community trailblazers to the next generation of exceptional Black youth.

Award recipients are enacted with the honour to continue with the advancement of social, cultural, and economic realities within Black communities.

The Awards will be officially launched at the start of the school year, in September 2021. Students and youth nominees will be selected and awarded. Additionally, Community Trailblazers will be officially honoured at the annual conferral ceremony held at the Rose Theatre, at the end of the school year.

On August 1, Emancipation Day​, the City will announce the Awards and recognize seven Community Trailblazers. 


Awards will be named after the following Community Trailblazers:

  • Myrna Adams

  • Lucinda Sloley

  • Mona Walrond

  • Yvonne Squires

  • Abigail Hamilton

  • Alison Robinson

  • Marjorie Taylor

 

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​​This year's Community Trailblazer honorees are:

Myrna Adams 

Myrna Adams

Myrna Montrichard Adams is a retired Community Outreach Worker, Social Service Worker and College Instructor. She has been a resident of Brampton for the last 40 years and is an active member of the community volunteering for the past 26 years with more than 35 organizations. Presently is the President of Brampton Senior Citizens Council and an active member of 19 non-profit organizations. Apart from that, Myrna provides personal counselling as needed.

In 2017, Myrna was honored as Ontario’s Senior of the Year and in the following year, Myrna was recognized in the House of Commons during Women’s History Month (2018) as an activist having an impact in shaping Canadian society.

For the past few years, Myrna has developed and hosted a cultural event called “The Many Faces of Canada: Many Cultures, Many Rhythms, One Heart” a successful and inclusive event celebrating the diversity of the country in particular Region of Peel as an annual event.

Myrna continues to look for innovative ways to improve the quality of life of all Brampton Residents.

Myrna lives by motto as espoused by Nelson Mandela: "There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return."

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Abigail Hamilton 

Abigail Hamilton

Education

Shortwood Teachers’ College, Jamaica (Education)
York University, B.A. (Sociology)

Career 

Attorney General of Ontario – (over 25 years including 13 years as prosecutor)
Provincial Prosecutor – Attorney General of Ontario - Region of Peel (13 years)
Executive Director/Co-Founder of ResQ Youth International – (over 20 years) 

Currently serves on: 

Peel Police Black Advisory Committee
Brampton Mayor’s Black Advisory Committee

Member of a Faith Group Served on numerous boards/committees for over 35 years

Toronto Police Services Board - Mental Health Sub-committee 
Sheridan College – Professional Advisory Committee (PAC)
New Horizon Youth Outreach - Founder /President (Defunct)
Heaven-bound Ministry (Youth Ministry in sailing – (Defunct)
Jamaica Canadian Association - Former - Executive Committee member 

Recipient of numerous awards including but not limited to: 

JunCtian – Excellence in Community Service Award
United Achievers – Community Leadership Award
The Marcus Garvey Award for Advocacy
The United Way of Peel Community Leadership
Peel Board of Education Certificate for contribution to Education 

ResQ Youth International Incorporated 

Currently – Executive Director of ResQ Youth International Incorporated.

Oversees: The Restorative Justice Programme which includes – Life- skills/Character- building Programme, prepares reports for court and represents students at the school and board levels. 

Besides advocacy and mediation, I sometimes act as surrogate parent for those who are not equipped, intimidated, or just overwhelmed and not able to navigate the educational system on their own.

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Mona Walrond 

Mona Walrond

Education 

M.Ed., B.Ed. (Queen’s University)
B.Sc. (PHN) Ottawa U
Specialist Qualifications in Special Education and Principal’s Qualification (York University)

Mona Walrond has played a significant role in the empowerment of marginalized communities through proactively promoting financial and digital literacy and basic computer skills program. 

Mona is a Community Advocate/Political Activist who has educated members of her Church to become politically involved and focus on issues. Her focus is: youth, with emphasis on Black Youth. At Provincial Conferences, she selects topics that shed light so that Officials of School Boards and other educators pay attention to the plight of Black Youth. As member of Peel Association of African Canadian Educators, fought for fairness at Peel District School Board. She became a resource to ONABSE during the Ministry of Education Review of the Board, and celebrated the victory when our Education Minister, Stephen Lecce took positive action. 

Mona is an author of “Kids Can Vote Canada” for The Learning Partnership Toronto and “Culture Counts” which highlights the inclusion of students’ cultural heritage for academic achievement. 

Career 

Mona’s extensive career has spanned from Public Health Nursing to public education including Education Consultant (City of Toronto Department of Public Health); Faculty Advisor/Clinical Instructor (Ryerson); Vice-Principal (elementary schools, Brampton); Facilitator/Co-Pioneer for Anti-violence Against Women programs (for Elementary Teachers’ Federation); and Developmental Counsellor - building positive self-esteem in elementary students including indigenous children in British Columbia. 

Mona has also worked with a colleague to Mentor youth to access Leadership opportunities: Co-Presenter, ONABSE’s Provincial Conference, 2018. Her Team supports the Economic Empowerment and Anti-Black Racism Unit at the City of Brampton through mentoring youth to speak at the Re-Naming Ceremony of Emancipation Park, Peel Police/Youth Steering Committees, and Brampton’s Black Youth Conference (2021). 

Mona also serves amongst the board of Directors for non-profit Organization, Black Youth Empowerment Advocates of Peel. 

Memberships 

Mayor’s Black African/Caribbean Advisory Council, Brampton; Legacy Member, Canadian Speakers’ Association; Associate member, Ontario Principals Council; Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Ontario College of Teachers, Ontario College of Nurses. 

Awards 

Lifetime Achievement Award (Afroglobal Television Network Toronto), for being a Change Agent; Assisted the United Achievers’ Club to access Parent Outreach Grants to educate parents - Black History Recognition Award (Peel Cultural Partners); Award of Distinction (Balmoral Drive Senior Public School); Award of Excellence (Peel District School Board) for significant contributions to Public Education; Recognition by Ontario Legislature for Co-pioneering the successful launch of Anti –Violence Against Women programs (Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario). She thanks God for these blessings and her Church, NLCC, for support.

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Lucinda Sloley 

Lucinda Sloley

Lucinda SIoley has been a resident of Brampton for over 48 years. A graduate of Ryerson University, Lucinda has worked as a Human Resources Consultant with the Government of Ontario for over 30 years. 

In October 1980, Lucinda and her husband founded the United Achievers’ Club of Brampton. The Club was established to raise the profile and consciousness of the Black and Caribbean community in our wider society. It has expanded over the years into three entities including the foundational United Achievers’ Club, a community services center (which is now a separate entity), and the United Achievers’ Non-Profit Housing Corporation which continues to support Brampton’s growing need for affordable housing.

Lucinda has served in numerous capacities on the Board of the United Achievers’ Club, including the role of President for ten years. Over several years, Lucinda has served as a director on the United Achievers’ Non-Profit Housing Corporation Board. 

In addition to her involvement with the United Achievers’ Club, Lucinda volunteers at Peel Manor Home for Senior Citizens. There, she serves as a Pastoral Visitor of St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church. Lucinda also volunteered at the Supervised Access Program with Peel Children’s Aid Society where parents and children meet and interact. Lucinda has volunteered with Peel Manor for 20 plus years and Peel CAS for over 17 years. 

During National Volunteer Week (April 7-13, 2019), Lucinda was one of three volunteers profiled by Peel Children’s Aid Society in the Brampton Guardian and Share Newspaper. On April 24, 2019, Lucinda was one of several volunteers who received the Region of Peel Julie DiGirolamo Excellence in Volunteerism Award. On May 24, 2019, Lucinda was recognized by the Kiwanis Club of Brampton with the George W. Harley Award for Outstanding Community Volunteerism. Other awards include the Ontario Volunteer Service Award/10 years – Peel Children’s Aid Society (April 2015); Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (October 21, 2012); Community Service Award/Free for All Foundation (October 13, 2012); Ontario Volunteer Service Award/25 plus years of service (May 2009). The United Achievers’ Club of Brampton selected me for its Recognition Award in 2003 and 2007 and chose me as its Member of the Year in 2005

In 2006, the City of Brampton Citizen Awards Selection Committee selected Lucinda for a Long-Term Service 25-Year Award. Within the same year, Lucinda became a member of the Ontario Public Service Quarter Century Club and was honored among several others for community service. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some of Lucinda’s volunteer activities have been placed in abeyance. However, Lucinda will be continuing with her volunteer activities in the next few months.

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Alison Robinson 

Alison Robinson

Mrs. Alison Robinson holds a Master’s in education degree, Central Michigan University; Bachelor of Applied Arts (Early Childhood Education) Ryerson University; Bachelor of Education, York University; Primary Education Specialist; Special Education Specialist and Principal’s Qualifications. 

She began her teaching career in Jamaica. This was followed by a Supervisory position at a Day Treatment program for young mothers and their babies (Toronto). Next, she became a Professor in the Early Childhood Education program at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 

 As a teacher in Peel, she displayed an unflinching commitment to improving the lives of at-risk black students. Her exceptional leadership skills allowed her Proposal on the importance of listening to students, “Students Voices in Math”, to be chosen by the Leadership Conference Committee. She presented this at their Annual Leadership Conference. In a joint mentorship with a colleague, she engaged a Youth as Co-presenter, ONABSE’s Annual Provincial Conference (2018) 

Mrs. Robinson successfully Co-Pioneered an Anti-Violence Program (Elementary Teachers’ Federation, Toronto) to Peel and Co-trained teachers as Facilitators. Her work led her to become a Co-Author Roots of Equality - resource for teachers. She has also received prestigious Awards for her dedication and commitment in serving others. 

As someone who believes in a learning community, she initiated and facilitated the process to lead her students at a middle school in Brampton, to become published authors in response to the topic Students’ Voices, on three different occasions. The program was inclusive so that all students were engaged at their level of competence while being encouraged to produce work at higher levels. 

Alison is a member of Malton Church of God of Prophecy which serves many Brampton residents, assisted the United Achievers Club to obtain Parent Outreach Grants, and has played major roles in the Black Development Association and the Understanding of the Early Years Malton Project that was funded by the Canadian Government. She joined the Director of Peel District School Board to make a Presentation which was aired on Rogers Communication Network. 

Memberships 

Ontario College of Teachers; Peel Association of African Canadian Educators; RTO (Peel), and Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators through which she provided feedback during the Ministry’s Review of Peel District School Board. 

Mrs. Robinson is a member of the Mayor’s Black African & Caribbean Advisory Council. She supports the Economic Empowerment Anti-Black Racism Unit: collaborated with colleagues to engage Brampton youth in the Police/Steering Committee; the Black Youth Conference in February; and the Black History program- to ask questions of the Panelists and selected Black youth to speak at the Emancipation Ceremony of the renaming of the park in Brampton. She is one of the Directors of the Non-Profit Organization: Black Youth Empowerment Advocates of Peel.

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Marjorie Taylor 

Marjorie Taylor

Marjorie R. Taylor (nee Brownie) was born in Jamaica, West Indies and immigrated to Canada in November of 1969, first living in East York, Thornhill and in Brampton since mid-1981. She received her education in Jamaica at Manning's School in Savanna-la-mar (Westmoreland), Duff's Business College (Kingston) and in Toronto, Canada at Ryerson (Human Resources), and Wycliffe College (Dip. in Lay Ministry). 

Marjorie has always combined continuing education with her "calling" to volunteer while raising her family and has consistently volunteered in some capacity since before her high school years - in her church, in her places of employment and in the community. She has been active in numerous community organizations such as the United Achievers’ Club of Brampton (a member for 25+ years) serving in various capacities including that of President (2006 to 2008), as Chair of the Celebrity Chef – Men Who Cook and currently, as Trustee – Communication. 

Marjorie served on the board of the Kiwanis Club for several years before she became the president from October 1, 2013 - September 30, 2015. Marjorie is currently an active team member who team leads the ‘Staples: Back to School Supplies’ initiative. 

Marjorie has volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division) since 1993 and is an active member of Christ Church, Brampton (since 1982), where she serves on the Altar Guild, is a Eucharistic Lay Assistant, sings in the choir and when called upon, is an amateur actor in Christ Church presentations. Marjorie also currently serves on the Osler Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC), the Peel Regional Police Black Advisory Committee and on the Chief’s Advisory Panel of the Brampton Fire & Emergency Services. She enjoys writing and has produced the Scholarship & Recognition Awards Program brochure for the United Achievers’ Club since 2000. 

Marjorie's employment history included that as an employee with the Metropolitan Toronto Library, Women’s College Hospital and Peel Memorial Hospital. As of the Fall of 2007, Marjorie retired from her work life though she continues her activities as a community leader, advocate, and volunteer. 

Marjorie has been the recipient of several awards such as the Mission Marathon Award (Women’s College Hospital for staff going above and beyond the call of duty), a finalist for the Zonta Women of Achievement Awards (November 2007), the Kiwanis Club of Brampton Community Service Award (2009), United Achievers’ Club - Member of the Year Award (2001, 2002,2006), Spelling Bee of Canada Certificate of Recognition (2008), Helping Hands for Good - certificate of recognition (2012), the Ontario Government Volunteer recognition award for community service, a Canadian Cancer Society Certificate of Recognition for 25 years of service, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (October 2012), in 2014 The H. Franklin Parker Award in recognition for ”extraordinary service and dedication to the community”, the 2015 Brampton Citizen of the Year (awarded in May 2016), the 2019 "Mayor’s Making Black History – Legacy Award" in recognition for outstanding contributions towards the City of Brampton, the 2019 Excellence Awards – Heritage Award – presented by Afro-Global Television and 2020 honoree of the 100 ABC (Accomplished Black Canadian) Women, 2019/2020 Brampton Long-Term Citizens’ Award for 25 years of service to the community. 

Marjorie is the mother of three sons. She takes great satisfaction in being of service to others in need.

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Yvonne Squires 

Yvonne Squires

Yvonne was in born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to Toronto, Canada in September 1966. She studied Social Services at Durham College and have lived in Brampton for approximately 40 years. 

Yvonne worked on Wall Street for a few years in the United States of America, then moved back to Canada where she worked with the Federal government. She worked for Revenue Canada and Custom and Excise, where she was the President of the Custom and Excise Workers Union for over 4 years representing Custom Officers on various issues. Yvonne is a longtime community activist and is well known to the community where she assists many members of the community on various issues. She represents the silent majority of Brampton against injustice, racism, discrimination, and unfair practices. 

Yvonne has served in various capacity on many social committees in Brampton that deals with social injustice to advance the social and economic status of underrepresented individuals. She represents various groups and individuals from different social and racial backgrounds including landlords, tenants and immigrants that are subjected to unfair practices. Yvonne had been an advocate and trailblazer in community who has help to advance the social and economic status of Blacks. She is described as the mayor magistrate, and police chief all rolled into one. 

Yvonne has received various awards for her community activism and involvement in the social empowerment of Bramptonians. Her social conscience, people skills and dedication to youth development in the community is exceptional. She cares for everyone in her community, impartially.

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