Come celebrate and connect with thriving black women here
“We are working on a very exciting new program for 2020.
Stay tuned to find out the list of outstanding presenters”
Making it as a Black woman in Canada has never been easy, but they are defying the odds and making it in their respective fields. Come find out how they did it to learn how you could too.
After attending the prestigious “Lycée Louis le Grand” in Paris, France, Dr Noué completed her undergraduate studies at “Université Pierre et Marie Curie”, followed by a masters/doctorate degree in Chemistry/Biochemistry at the University of Houston, in Texas.
She started her career working as research scientist in petrochemicals; she later found her niche and passion upon joining Merck in 2008, first as country medical information and drug safety officer, and most recently as global medical information Manager supporting the company’s neurology and immunology franchise. She is the proud recipient of their circle of excellence award for exemplary individual contributor as well as STAR awards for leadership and customer service.
Marie-Ange is recognized as a proven leader in her field and is the current chair of the Canadian pharmacovigilance & medical information network, a forum where over 600 industry peers and regulators meet to share best practices and enable ongoing improvements.
As a former model, Marie-Ange has a passion for fashion. When she's not busy with her husband and 3 children, you can find her at the local equestrian club or the local airport as she's an avid horseback rider and private pilot.
When I started my humanitarian work in Sub Saharan Africa, it was during the height of the AIDS crisis HIV/AIDS was rampant; thousands of people were dying from the disease. During my first mission to Africa I visited the UNHCR Buduburam refugee camp which housed 43,000 Liberian refugees. I saw many orphans who were orphaned by AIDS and war. I donated medicines to the Ghana AIDS Commission, the Korle Bu Hospital HIV Fever’s Unit, and St.Gregory’s Catholic Clinic
They say I will never make it as a black woman in this field, because it’s only Caucasian people who are doing this kind of advocacy work. I was determined to pursue my passion and In 2006 I had a major breakthrough. I brokered $1.5million in anti-retro virals for the Ghana AIDS Commission and the Ghana Ministry of Health.
Now I have been able to assist thousands of people in the global community.
I was a single mother of 3 kids under 5 when I decided to pursue my education and set out on my life's adventure as a Registered Nurse. numerous people warned me I was crazy, and thought I wouldn't accomplished my goals."It was too much" they said,"it wouldn't make sense" they warned and my favorite "you have 3 kids with 3 different babyfathers' your life is already ruined"
Thanks to all of their negativity and the great support I received, by the time I was 27 years old (still a single mother of 3 sons) I was able to graduate from college with a certificate in Practical Nursing and a Diploma in Nursing. I was registered as a professional with the College of Nurses of Ontario practicing as a RN and owned my first home.
Since I received my award a few years ago I’ve advanced my career in HR. I now work for the Ontario Energy Board as a Human Resources Consultant with a huge focus on Talent Management.
In 2018 I lost my Mother who attended the award ceremony with me. This was a difficult time in my life. My Mother always encouraged me to be ambitious and be a go-getter so I bought a franchise of Cycle N Tone ( spinning classes to Soca, Afro and Dancehall music).
It doesn’t stop there for me.
I am writing a book about my son and launching a kids sock company at the end of the year.
Felicia Sarpong is the CEO and creator of Paba Cosmetics Inc. It was in 2001, when Sarpong decided to start a small cosmetics line that was created to flatter and compliment women of colour. Sarpong started off the business part time by selling the products wholesale to beauty supply stores across the GTA, Ottawa and Montreal. In 2010 Sarpong decided to make Paba Cosmetics her full time job and left her position as a senior manager in a bank. That year she opened the first Paba store in Accra, Ghana. Since then she has opened two more locations in Ghana and recently, the first Canadian location was opened in Etobicoke, Ontario. Sarpong currently runs Paba Cosmetics alongside her two daughters.
"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.
Award winning Image and Lifestyle Consultant/Media Coach/Magazine Publisher My name is Shelley Jarrett. For twenty years I taught people how to create wealth for themselves and their families through life insurance products. About five years ago I decided that I wanted to do something different with the sales and marketing background that I had.
With the explosion of social media and internet marketing it was imperative that I maintain my position on the cutting edge of change. I started my image consulting business in 2012. The primary objective was to help women dress for success in the workplace. I have been able to accomplish this through workshops, networking conferences, and speaking engagements.
About a year after forming SJ Image Creations, I started my next venture, which was to launch an online magazine focusing on image lifestyle and business. SMJ Magazine took on a life of its own, quickly gained momentum and popularity with followers. It gave me the media platform I desired.
I was able to take advantage of various marketing strategies, partnerships and collaborations using other networks to broaden my brand and my consumer base. SJ Image Creations, along with SMJ Magazine, have garnered national and international recognition. Requests for speaking engagements and appearances have resulted. I have been featured in several outside media outlets.
It is because of my regular increasing presence in the media and because of the alliances that I have formed that I am ready to share some of my experience with others and help them reach their goals and dreams.
Jill Andrew, PhD(c.) aka "Ji!!" is an award-winning columnist, public speaker, educator, and media consultant on female body image, equity and leadership. One day she hopes to create a Self Esteem Society for women and girls (and of course our beloved male allies can visit) where they can learn to live, love, lavish themselves intellectually, plot against societies inequities, and one day take over the world unapologetically. She is also shamelessly obsessed with every, and anything feline!
Jill founded BITE ME! Toronto Int'l Body Image Film & Arts Festival www.BiteMeFilmFest.com (on hiatus), Toronto's first Curvy Catwalk Fashion Fundraiser, and is co-founder of FatintheCity.com a 'fatshion' plus size fashion lifestyle blog, Toast to Curves: Celebrating Size in Film, Fashion & Television, Dining with Dames: a bi-annual leadership opportunity for girls from Toronto's priority neighbourhoods, and the Body Confidence Canada (BCC) Awards which takes place annually on Sept 9 (Int'l Day of Beauty). Jill recently coordinated the BODY TALK Girls Body Image: Race, Culture & Well-Being Conference for the TDSB and also did her first TED talk on Fat Shaming
In 2010, Jill was 1 of 120 women selected across Canada to participate in Canada's inaugural Governor General Women's Conference: Together for Women's Security at Rideau Hall. With a completed MA in Women & Gender Studies (2008) in hand, she is currently pursuing her PhD at York University Faculty of Education. Jill has been an invited guest lecturer at U of T, Windsor U, UMEA University (Sweden), and Ryerson University among other post-secondary institutions. Jill's theoretical influences include Black feminist thought/anti-racist feminism, fat studies scholarship, and symbolic interactionism. Jill critiques dominant representations and perceptions of female bodies as well as the 'self-help/ individualist' approach to being and instead calls for a critical intersectional analysis more aligned with a deeper understanding of the complex social determinants of health, wellness, and identity construction.
Jill's select on-air appearance and print credits include CTVglobemedia, Global, CityTV, CP24, CBC, ET Canada, CHRY, Metro News, TonightNews, The Toronto Star, The Hype Magazine, Huffington Post Canada, and THIS Magazine among others (Jill joins THIS Magazine Summer 2015 with her new column “THIS ABJECT Body”). She continues to co-edit an anthology on female stories of fat embodiment through Demeter Press (Toronto, ON). Jill's honours include the Michele Landsberg Media Activism Award, Soroptimist Foundation of Canada Grant, CERLAC (Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean) Scholarship, the Patrick Solomon Memorial Award in Urban Diversity, Canadian Ethnic Media Association Awards, and her recent induction into Humber College's School of Social & Community Services Hall of Inspiration as an Alumnus of Distinction.
Jill is a supporter of organizations helping to make the world a better place~ especially for systemically marginalized populations. Some of her 'favs' include Tropicana, Canadian Women's Foundation, Jessie’s,YWCA, The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black Cap), National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), Dr. Roz's Healing Place, and the Scarborough Women's Centre (SWC.). Jill's Board of Director appointments include Toronto Int'l Deaf Film & Arts Festival, Plus Inc., York University’s Excalibur Newspaper Board of Publishers, and Jessie’s June Callwood Centre for Young Women. Jill has performed in community productions of the Vagina Monologues several times once starring alongside Rachel McAdams.
Born and raised in the Jane-Finch community, Tiffany Ford has an authentic perspective of what it means to be labeled an "at-risk" youth, while striving beyond the stereotypes and stigma that marginalized people are faced with in Toronto's York West community. Raised in Toronto Community Housing in a female-headed household, Tiffany was registered in numerous youth programs in and outside of her community and excelled in recreational sports, which provided her opportunities to engage in team building skills and fostered her goal-oriented spirit. Attending all levels of education within the York West community, she gained her education at Firgrove Public School, Oakdale Park Middle School,Westview Centennial Secondary School, and later York University, where she received an honorary bachelors of Arts degree in Communications and Sociology.
Upon graduating from York University, Tiffany decided to take a brave risk and launched the Ford Global Group, which is the parent company of marketing communications firm entitled Ford Publicity, providing 8 years of service to a range of global clients. In 2014, Tiffany expanded her entrepreneurial portfolio and ventured into the telecom industry with Pepeyee Communications. Tiffany Ford was listed on the 2012 Top 100 Global Publicists and PR Firms for Social Media, and won the Service Award at the 2013 African Entertainment Awards. Tiffany is the founder of Beyond 'at-risk' , which aim's to dismantle negative connotations associated with the term "at-risk", by challenging and deconstructing harmful stereotypes to enhance meaningful programming for youth living in "high-priority" neighbourhoods.
When I started my journey, I was a single mother working eighty hour weeks at multiple jobs. There were times it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel but through determination and faith, we persevered. Now I am in a leadership position at Rogers, and my children are my greatest achievement. They are tri-lingual, community-focused, highly intelligent and compassionate. It wasn’t easy raising them on my own, but they mean the world to me and I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments.
I thrive on challenges and am driven by success in my career and outside of it. I have volunteered with several different organizations over the last few years: Million Dollar Smiles, Habitat for Humanity, Manyatta Network, the Cry for the Children Foundation, and others. My goal is to inspire and I hope to have a positive impact on the lives of those whom I encounter.
Seeking a more stable environment and ample opportunity, Arielle’s family left her home country, Burundi, in the midst of a civil war. After arriving in Canada, Arielle faced many of the challenges inherent in most new Canadian stories; insecure housing, precarious employment, and unfamiliar systems to navigate. She’s become a champion for other newcomers and all London residents, striving to realize equitable and stable futures for their families. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Carleton University, Arielle gained initial experience in government supporting Members of Parliament through her work in caucus services on Parliament Hill. Arielle was one of 29 young Canadians selected to represent the nation’s youth at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16). She entered local government as part of the mentorship program at London’s City Hall and then ran a successful campaign to become a City Councilor. Arielle is an active public speaker, having worked with London Black History Committee and Regional HIV Aids Connection. She has served on and is a member of various local boards, including the Black History Month committee, the Urban League of London, Réseau-femmes du sud-ouest de l’Ontario, Association culturelle burundo-canadienne de London, and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition. Balancing her roles as a single mother, City Councilor, community activist and passionate city builder, Arielle’s story is one of breaking barriers, overcoming adversity, and defying expectations. She is a shining example of a new type of political and community leader; progressive, unapologetic, and committed to representing marginalized voices in her community.
Paulette Senior has devoted her life and career to breaking down systemic barriers and building up diverse women and girls. Her personal experience immigrating to Canada from Jamaica as a young girl ignited her interest in social justice and helped make her the dynamic, grounded leader she is today.
Paulette’s career began in social services in some of Toronto’s most underserved neighbourhoods. She witnessed the need for systemic change and learned the power of putting the voices of women and equity-seeking communities first. She became known for her excellence in shelter, employment, and housing service provision, as well as for her intersectional approach to advocacy. She has earned numerous awards and has become one of the most respected women leaders in Canada.
In 2016, Paulette joined the Canadian Women’s Foundation as President and CEO after a decade serving as CEO of YWCA Canada. She is a sought-after thought-leader on numerous issues including gender equity and gender-based violence; women’s poverty and the wage gap; girls’ empowerment; and leadership. Her focus at the Foundation is to bolster an inclusive national movement for all women, girls, and communities across Canada.
“The premise of the Foundation when it was created was to transform the lives of women and to support the underpinning of a women’s movement in Canada. Being able to lead the next iteration of that is an incredible opportunity.” – Paulette Senior
Paulette has worked with all levels of government and civil society to address issues including poverty, housing, gender-based violence, immigration, and social justice. She has led, managed, and operated shelters, employment programs, and housing programs at organizations such as Yellow Brick House, YWCA Toronto, Macaulay Child Development Centre, Lawrence Heights Community Health Centre, and Central Neighbourhood House. She is former Chair of the Board at Women’s College Hospital and currently sits on the Boards of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and the global Women’s Funding Network.
Paulette graduated from York University with a double honours BA in psychology and urban studies. Over the course of her career, she has won several awards including:
the African Canadian Achievement Award, the AfroGlobal Leadership Award, the Black Women Civic Engagement Award, the Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Trailblazer Award, and the MicroSkills Margot Franssen Leadership Award.
Listed in the Who’s Who in Black Canada, she is a recipient of the Toronto Police Community Service Award, the International Women Achievers Award, the Martin Luther King DreamKeeper Award and a Queen Elizabeth’s 11 Diamond Jubilee Medal.
She is the co-founder of the Crossover Mentorship Program, a youth empowerment initiative, Patricia was featured as Woman Of The Week in Women’s Post. Patricia and her husband Moses have been featured on CNN International in a half hour special. In March 2016, the duo launched Afroglobal Television, a 24-hour television channel that is currently on Rogers Cable, Bell Fibe, Eastlink and Telus across Canada. In 2018, Patricia co-authored the 150 Extraordinary Canadians Legacy book, with a foreword by the Right Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.