By Michael Van Cooten
TORONTO, Ontario March 23, 2018 — This year’s recipients of the prestigious Harry Jerome Awards (HJA) were announced yesterday.
Organised, every spring, by the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA), the venerable organisation that produces it annually, the HJA, which was established in 1983, has evolved into one of the African Canadian community’s most distinguished and sought-after honours.
The announcement was made at a media conference by the BBPA, whose President, Nadine Spencer, spoke glowingly of the 2018 awardees, the event and this year’s theme — “Our Legacy”.
“The honourees of this year’s Harry Jerome Awards are truly representative of this year’s theme, ‘Our Legacy’,” she observed.
“As we look back to where we have started and how far we have come; 36 years of the Harry Jerome Awards is quite an accomplishment and we look forward to continuing to celebrate and honour Black excellence in Canada.”
Established in the memory of Harry Jerome, an outstanding African Canadian Olympic athlete, scholar and social advocate, the HJA is an annual celebration that pays tribute to outstanding and inspirational African-Canadians.
The BBPA’s Harry Jerome Award, recognized as one of the most prestigious, national awards in the African-Canadian community and a coveted symbol of achievement, will be presented in 16 categories this year: Academics, Arts, Athletics, Leadership, Business, Entertainment, Professional Excellence, Health Science, Community Service, Lifetime Achievement, Diversity, Trailblazer, Public Advocacy, Youth Advancement, Media and the President’s Award.
The 2018 (HJA) awardees are:
Pamela Appelt (Lifetime Achievement Award);
Nadia Hamilton (Youth Entrepreneur Award);
Dr. Kwame McKenzie (Trailblazers Award);
Dr Yabome Gilpin-Jackson (Professional Excellence Award);
Lamont Wiltshire and Odeen Eccelston (Business Award);
Jenny Gumbs (Public Advocacy Award);
Carolyn Marful (Leadership Award);
Jully Black (Entertainment Award);
Kien Crosse (Academics Award);
Mike Yorke (Diversity Award);
Pauline Christine (President Award);
Rowan Barrett Jr (Athletics Award);
Keith Merith (Community Service Award);
Matt Galloway (Media Award);
Luke Welch (Arts Award); and
Floydeen Charles Fridel (Health Science Award).
“We look for members in our community who are long-standing in their position and long standing in paving the way for other members to come on board in that industry whichever industry they are in,” revealed Marcia Bowen, Chair of the HJA.
The BBPA — a charitable organization whose mission is to advance Canada’s Black community by facilitating the delivery of programs that support business and professional excellence, higher education and economic development — was founded in 1983.
In addition to the annual HJA, the BBPA organises and produces the BBPA National Scholarships and the National Black Business and Professional Convention (NBBPC), alongside workshops and programs at the BBPA Centre of Excellence.
The 36th Annual BBPA Harry Jerome Awards will be held on Saturday, April 28 at The International Centre, 6900 Airport Road.
Tickets — which cost $200.00 each, with an Early Bird Rate of $175.00, until March 31 — can be purchased at: 36th Annual Harry Jerome Awards