A Winnipeg born, Peel resident, passionate about people and community building.
A champion for progressive public policy and passionate about community development, Adaoma has held key volunteer roles with the United Way of Peel Region, Jamaican Canadian Association, and Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. She is also Vice-President of the Horace Patterson Scholarship Foundation, a charity dedicated to her father's memory.
In 2010, Adaoma was named as a 2010 DiverseCity Fellow, and in 2014 as Volunteer of the Year by the Jamaican Canadian Association. She is a well-respected and popular facilitator and speaker at local events.
Her track-record of public service includes her current position as Advisor – Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy with the Region of Peel. In this role she is responsible for leading the community poverty reduction strategy that addresses affordable transit & housing, food & income security as well as employment opportunities in Peel region. She held previous roles as an employment counsellor and coordinator for Ontario Works, YMCA Employment Services and Caribbean Association of Peel.
Earlier, Adaoma was a principal consultant for ACP Consulting, the event management company that created and produced the Essence of Mahogany Bridal & Beauty Show, which ran for five years. Most recently, she was the NDP candidate in the riding of Brampton West for the 2015 federal election.
Adaoma has lived in Brampton for the past 12 years with her 14-year-old son.
Charly is co-founder of “Urban Curls Toronto” and “Institut Keo” in Paris. Agnes moved to Canada few years ago with her husband and their 3 Kids, Dande, Kasy and Phol-Williams from Paris, France.
With a double competence in Financial Market and Business Management, Agnes has worked for various top financial institutions, consulting firms and corporations in Europe and Canada.
Since her very young age she showed a passion for Art and design, her creativity over the years has developed her passion for Fashion Design, Hair and Make-up.
Her quest for perfection and her desire of mastering curly hair took her to the United States, specifically in North Carolina to complete training in cosmetology with one of the leaders in the industry. Agnes has been in the hair industry for more than 15 years with a proven competence in hair restoration techniques. In her career she has helped countless amount of women around the word with hair loss issues.
Before launching her first company in 2005 in Paris, France, Agnes has been a consultant for cosmetic laboratories in the US and Europe and has also contributed in the improvement of many hair products lines for textured hair. She also has her own Trade Show, launched in Paris in 2009: The “Karl International Hair and Make up Symposium”. In 2014 she had also hosted the Canadian version of the show “Beyond Beauty and Color” in Toronto.
When I started my journey of remembering my power and standing in the truth of who I am so that I could realize my purpose on this planet at this time, I knew that this was about transformation: Transformation of myself and of the women with whom I would work.
Many said that in order to succeed I needed to emulate those who had more fame or name recognition or money than I did; those who were not me - not Black. Not women. They said that the name Sacred Women International would alienate those who do not understand that the Sacred is beyond religion or spirituality.
I have not only built an organization, but a community and movement of inspired women who are making a difference in the world. I have held workshops on leadership and wellness across North America, in the Caribbean and in West Africa. I am witness to the strength of the community of practice that has emerged from my workshops and leadership programs. In spite of naysayers, each day I wake up knowing that I am living my Vision.
then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." - Audre Lorde
Founder of Bras for the Congo – Non-for-profit Founder of Premier Jour Lingerie & Swimwear - Retail
While I attribute my business savvy to my 19 years experiences in the hospitality industry, I always knew that one day I would own a business because it’s in my DNA. I founded Premier Jour Lingerie and Swimwear, a boutique that provides customers with unique lingerie and swimwear as well as being a certified mastectomy bra and breast prosthesis specialist. Starting a boutique was exciting and a challenging experience and I believed the business would be successful… I would be successful.
Today, with my philanthropy work with Bras for the Congo, After Breast Cancer, and my combined expertise in trend forecasting, mastectomy fitting, and fashion knowledge I am now sought out and featured on Toronto Is Awesome, OMNI, Samaritan Magazine, Girls of T.O, Urban Moms, and Global TV just to name a few.
I am a passionate and determined business woman and I live my life trying to make a difference…one BRA, one WOMAN, one SURVIVOR at a time.
When I started my journey as a poet, I was only looking to be published. It was not until 2013 when I challenged myself to try one new thing every month for the entire year, and in the month of March I tried sharing my poetry with others. I attended an open mic, read a weak poem from my phone, and told no one. It was horrible. It wasn’t until June of that same year when I tried again and my craft became my career.
They said my poetry was not suitable for publication. They said being a creative is not viable and not enough people outside of my community would be interested. They said I wouldn’t be able to stand out as a poet. Now my poetry has been seen in the pages of North American literary journals, performed on the stages of London England, and written on the walls of Uganda.
This experience of overcoming such challenges has inspired me to write poems like SHINE and The Power Within, encouraging people to overcome the negative statements said to them and the difficult challenges they face. One of my lines of poetry that people appreciate the most is “shine when the darkness feels too great. When it feels like you have lost much more than you have gained.” We are all overcomers. Our existence as individuals is necessary. And it is vital to remember that “YOU are power!”
"They said I will never make it in life." a teenage mother, single with 3 children. According to many I would become another statistic, But God! Through his strength I raised three wonderful children and finished school. Now I have been able to start a ministry for women that seeks to empower, encourage and uplift all women with monthly visit to women's shelters, workshops and more. I am currently the Host of Gospel Faith TV Canada's Newest Online Christian Network. I stand today as a testimony of God's grace.
Love Wins! -Andria Thompson
Owner of Angel Fit & Healthy Inc., Fitness Company Minister, Motivational Speaker of the Gospel/Christian Talk Show Host on - Women of the Word/Christian
Co Founder - Women United Network - Women Empowerment Movement Author, Book Releasing
When I started my journey to overcome a life I was living filled with depression and rejection, I never thought I could help so many people by just fixing me. I could no longer hide behind the drinking and drug abuse, that would only numb the pain for a few hours. My rock bottom was a realization that no one could change my life, I had to fight my own battle. The biggest battle -- my mind. A wife and a mother to 4 children, I had to make a choice to create a healthy atmosphere inside of me, as well as in my home. I gave my life to Christ and my life began to transform, by understanding his word and his love. As I began to get uncomfortable, my career changed from Management in the Insurance Industry, to the health and wellness world. A lot of my healing and change began in the gym. I learned how to commit, be disciplined, connect with liked minded people, and how to work through the weight of the world. As I shared my journey and saw that so many people needed to hear my story. I knew God had positioned me in my calling.
They say I will never be able to stay a true Christian and be successful, but I have found the key to succeed. That is to believe that God is the one in control. Not me, my role is to show his love, the love he has given me even at my worst. To trust in God's ability to guide me daily. To live a life always seeking his instructions and working daily on myself that I will indeed develop and display Christ like characteristics.
Now I have been able to connect with so many individuals and help them locate their purpose and address obstacles. Whether it be through a Personal Training session, Social Media, Ministering on a Platform, or in a casual setting, my ability to be transparent about me, has opened the eyes of many to see that they too can overcome, stand in all situations and accomplish great things.
3 John 1:2 KJV
When I left the Nova Scotia Government to start my own business my closest friends doubted, and were concerned about my decision. They felt I had left the secure for unsecured opportunities. For me perseverance is the key as well as having a strong belief in myself. There have been many challenges and barriers that are no different from any of my fellow business owners who are striving to define their own destiny and contribute to our economic sustainability. Now I have achieved some level of success people are now taking me seriously. My guiding compass is having a clear vision, purpose and passion. I also believe that having motivation is not enough. Taking the first step counts. As a businesswoman, I am now in a position to empower others, share my knowledge and being open to learning new things.
Today, organizational leaders know they must not only comply with the rules, they must instil within their organization a culture of integrity and support this culture through the creation of avenues of disclosure and discussion so that questions are raised before ethics breaches occur. This is where I come in! My passion is to help organizations cut through complexity.
I help financial institutions develop risk management and control frameworks and I assess and support compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements in the financial services industry in North America. I also support a number of new banking and insurance company entrants in the process of obtaining their operating license and establishing their regulatory framework and risk management systems. I work with clients from initial concept to operational management issues, including business plans development and risk management and governance processes within the context of industry practice and regulatory expectations.
When I launched Manyatta Network 3 years ago, they said there was no need for a new a venue for professionals within the African Diaspora to get together, network and create develop relationships. Manyatta Network now has over 700 subscribers in Toronto, 350 in Montreal and just launched a new networking tribe in Quebec City. We champion positive change by showcasing social entrepreneurs and organizations which are making a positive impact in our community. We bring professionals together who are all experienced in their own right in a space where we can exchange knowledge about our businesses and careers while building social capital along the way by giving back to community organizations making a great impact in the cities where we live.
Independent Business Contractor
Fashion show Petite Model
When my family moved from Toronto - Guelph back in 1991; I'd sensed the city as 'cold'. Years later as a BLACK college graduate; in a small town; reality made me work 2/3 jobs. Such personal hardships made me determined.
They said things like “you don't like it here move elsewhere”, but knowing my Benka-coker ancestral trail goes back to Halifax,NS and Liverpool, UK as part of the original Black Loyalist movement… karma proved faithful in little; faithful in much!
Today; as a conqueror I'm one of the success driven women BUT most importantly Queen Guelph 2015.
As an senior undergrad in the New Media Program at Ryerson University, Lewis designed The Obama Board, a keyboard that swaps the sound of the note with a word from Barack Obama’s inauguration speech. After showcasing the project at the Toronto Mini Maker Faire she was invited to demo the installation at the Detroit Maker Faire for 20,000 people where she won Make Magazine Editor’s Choice and was highlighted on Barack Obama’s website.
As a graduate, Lewis spent over a year leading the groundup development of Girls Learning Code, a company aimed to encourage more young females to learn technological skills to help close the gender gap in the field. She has designed educational new media content for the TIFF Bell Lightbox including gadget making workshops for the 50 Years of Bond exhibition, coding and robotics programing for the Maker March Break Camp and various ongoing initiatives. For the past two years Ashley has acted as production lead for the feature art installation at the TIFF DigiPlaySpace, Canada’s largest interactive festival for kids. Ashley’s previous roles have included interning at Kids’ CBC’s Interactive Department, Digital Media Production at TVO, web content for Mozilla and event host for NASA Space Apps, to name a few. In 2014, with a project that inspires kids to read using interactive and collectable story beads, Ashley’s team won Toronto’s Startup Weekend Maker Edition and placed 2nd globally. Lewis has been featured as a Tech Activist in Metro News and has highlighted diverse tech education as a keynote speaker on numerous occasions for audiences at TEDx, FITC, International Women’s Day and Maker Faire. In 2014 she was profiled in Reader’s Digest for BYTE, a program that provides creative tech workshops for kids of colour, and Spark Makers, her maker culture meets girl guides start up supported by the Transmedia Zone at Ryerson University. Spark Makers was also featured at Google Geek Street’s youth tech festival and has travelled as far as Johannesburg, South Africa to lead workshops at the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in the summer of 2015. Lewis also currently works at the RTA School of Media as a New Media Specialist at Ryerson University, aiding students in the exploration of art through code, laser cutting and 3D printing. Ashley Jane Lewis feels honoured to have had the opportunity to help more than 2,000 youth learn how to code to date.
When I started my journey to Canada 7 years ago it was the biggest decision of my life. I left everything and everyone that was close to me, even my children. I got to Canada with $20.00 in my pocket knowing no one and having nowhere to stay. I was helped by total stranger and ended up in Hamilton in a shelter for two months. Long story short, I left the shelter went to school to study the English language, notable to find a job due to lack of Canadian experience despite all my qualifications.
Everyone thought I couldn’t do it. But I took the challenge to find a Job out of my previous profession, retrained and found a well-paid job in my field of training. Next I decided to register a company and started importing food from Africa, supplying stores in Hamilton and Toronto. I also volunteer in my community and other African communities, being the voice of those who cannot speak who are now going through the same journey I took 7 years ago.
Now, looking back I have been able to achieve all this within a short space of time. There were a lot of challenges and still there is, but I least I can say I did it single handedly as a single mother of 3.
“When you put your hand on the plough, do not look back, keep ploughing.”
I live as a dreamer and work as a professional. Everything I have aspired to do, I have accomplished regardless of the industry. Coming to Canada was my big dream and my first one, raised by a single mom, with no source of income; no one could see the realization or it coming to the reality. Considering my family financial situation, talking about my dream was a subject of mockery, but that didn’t stop me dreaming. It was a long way gone and here I am living in Canada, these who laughed at me once are now my witnesses. I am creative in every way and there are so many things I believe I can do well in my life. I take every challenge to heart with all my passion; there is no small work or big task.
This is where my life has taken me and the time will tell where I will go.
Bridgette Lacquer polish line
Bio Natural Food Healing Expert
Global Authority using Food as Medicine to heal ourselves, natural weight and achieve optimal health.
Celeste London is a Natural Food Healing Expert that educates people about using food to combat nutritional deficiencies in the body. She helps us understand why we need to come back to the way nature intended for us to relate to food that is harmonious to ourselves and the environment. Celeste empowers us to transform the mind and body by using food from the earth to heal us. She helps us understand that metabolic balance is a natural approach to weight-loss and achieve optimal sustainable lifestyle habits.
student at the University of Ottawa
Project Manager at Enactus uOttawa
When I started my blogging on human rights issues (in the year 2014) in an attempt to raise awareness on these issues occurring in Canada, Nigeria and around the world, I was encouraged by a lot of people. However, there were a few people who told me to stop, that I am only an immigrant, I am a teenager, it is dangerous, too controversial etc. However, I did not stop because it is silence that fuels the opportunity for more acts of hate and injustice to occur. Every 2 to 3 weeks, I write a blogpost on a human rights violation that has caught my attention - without fear. I started this blogging at age 17.
They say I will never be able to challenge a government to make policies that are not impartial or unjust but rather aimed at the development of members of the public and thus, the development of the nation itself.
Now I have been able to even do more than influence one nation - I have influenced people of different nations. Last year, I was chosen to be a speaker for the Women’s Freedom Conference (WFC) which took place in October 2015. It was a global, all-digital conference aimed at raising awareness on issues facing women of colour around the world. I spoke alongside prominent female activists like Bassey Ikpi, Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, and L. Joy Williams. I spoke on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women in Canada and called on the federal government of Canada to take action to ensure that Aboriginal women in Canada are treated with dignity - a fundamental right of every human being. The Women’s Freedom Conference “trended #1 in the United States for 2hrs, 45 min” and “averaged 1,743 tweets per hour” according to the organizer, Feminista Jones. I have been featured on the University of Ottawa’s Gazette magazine, I have made a guest appearance on the renowned Daytime Ottawa news channel and late last year, I was promoted to a Project Manager position in an organization (Enactus uOttawa) that does so much to enhance social progress in Canada.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.” - Jack Layton
When I started my career, looking back at AMÖI’s past, I remember the humble start-up beginnings. I had a $100.00 dollars to open a business account, a computer and my fledging, but outstanding dreams. From the beginning, my core belief was always that for AMÖI to be successful, for the magazine to be the actualization of my dreams, I had to be at the forefront of the ‘next’ big story, the next big success, and the next big game changer.
They said I will never succeed in the publishing industry, they said I would never make it past 6 months, yet that was 10 years ago. Today I am celebrating 10 years of AMOI - Diversity at its Best.
Now I have been able to take AMOI to new heights, AMOI International Magazine looks at diversity from an international perspective while showcasing the best of Canada's diverse & multicultural role models.
Miss Universe Canada 2015 National Delegate
Danielle Kadjo is a former 2015 Miss Universe Canada delegate and the only one national finalist selected to represent the entire province of Quebec in the 64th edition of the prestigious pageant.
Recipient of several awards and recognition including the 10th ranking in the Canadian national level and Top 5 in Quebec for the year 2014 in Excellence in investments and portfolio management, she holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Finance degree from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). Award Winner of the 2015 Desjardins Foundation National Humanitarian Award, she is the founder and CEO of the upcoming Unesco Fashion Week, a platform honoring and promoting human rights especially for women and children. The project aims to contribute to one of the most important issues and millennium development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which is the Education for All (EFA).
Philanthropic figure, she is also the woman behind the Canadian Red Cross national fashion show also known as the WE DID IT! FASHION SHOW created in 2013 to mark the World Humanitarian Day in memory of all those, humanitarian workers, who have lost their lives by trying to rescue distressed communities. The funds raised were totally donated to the organization as a contribution and recognition in their international implication in the fight against HIV-AIDS, Malaria, maternal and child healthcare in Africa.
As a professional model, she has graced the runways of Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto Fashion Weeks and have worked with several companies such as Banana Republic, Allied Beauty Association (ABA Canada), Canal Vox TV Channel, Diamanza Imperial Models Agency, The Grand-Prix of Canada, RSVP Canada, to just name a few. Danielle has been featured in publications such as Afrique Femme, Hit Africa TV, The African Perspective Magazine, Life Magazine, Afro Canada Magazine, Afro Canadian Queens, Molato Europe/England Magazine, TC Media, Abidjan Media, Journal Le Droit, etc.
Women, children and human rights advocate, she seeks to safeguard the rights of women and children through advocacy, education, and empowerment.
When I started my teaching career, I worked in a high needs community and developed after school gymnastics, sports, girls and & boys mentorship programs and homework support programs that included students with special needs. They said I would never become an administrator.
Now I have been able to be recognized by my staff and school community as one of Canada's Outstanding Principals for my efforts in developing our school's Arts and Technology Program, our music and visual arts program, academics, along with my consistent commitment to student learning, providing regular professional development to our staff on site.
what we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against. “ -- Christina Baldwin
with the City of Toronto
Denise Andrea Campbell has been working nationally and internationally on social inclusion issues since the age of 16. Before joining the City of Toronto, she worked internationally on race and gender policies in numerous United Nations forums and more recently, the African Union.
She's received numerous awards for these efforts and has been an avid media spokesperson on social inclusion-related issues.
Denise joined the City of Toronto’s Social Development, Finance and Administration Division in 2004. She's worked in youth development, led the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy, and as Director of Community Resources, oversaw the City's neighbourhood revitalization, Tower Renewal, community development, and community funding portfolios.
In April 2014, she became the Director of Social Policy, Analysis and Research, bringing a community development approach to complex social policy development and implementation. Her current policy agenda includes poverty reduction, human trafficking, affordable transit, undocumented Torontonians, and youth equity.
She holds a Masters of Voluntary Sector Management from McGill University and completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto. She passionately invests in young leaders and serves as a community leader.
Achievement is often anonymous. Some of the greatest things have been done by people you never heard of,
quietly dedicating their lives to improving your own." - Madam Secretary