By Michael Van Cooten
TORONTO, Ontario March 20, 2020 — This year’s edition of the Harry Jerome Awards (HJA) gala ceremony, slated for Saturday, April 25, has been postponed.
Founded in 1983, and organised, annually, by the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) the HJA’s 38th. anniversary gala will now happen, in the Fall, on Saturday, October 10.
Announcing the postponement, in an emailed statement, BBPA President, Nadine Spencer, explained, “Due to recent developments in the spread of the COVID-19, the world’s leading health organizations — including the WHO (World Health Organisation) and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) — have advised against large, public gatherings and other events that may contribute to the spread of the virus.
“The BBPA has kept the safety and well-being of the community at the heart of all its decisions and, as a result”, has taken this action.
“Effective immediately, we will be suspending all face-to-face programs and moving programming to online formats, where possible, in order to effectively further the organization’s goals, without endangering stakeholders or adding to the growing spread of COVID-19,” continued the BBPA President. “We are committed to the work we do, in advancing the Black community, and will use our resources to support our members, during this time.”
Additionally, the Association has also postponed many of its programs, including its:
*International Women’s Month Event: A Dialogue with Black Women;
*BBPA Business Mentorship Program;
*Financial Literacy Series (2nd of each Month);
*Entertainment, Wellness, Hair, Social Enterprise and Non-Profit, Restaurants Event Planning (Monthly on the 1st sat of the month);
*Marketing for Small Business (Second Tuesday of Month 6-8pm); and
*Entrepenuership Series Seven Steps to Business Success (7 week course Wednesdays 6-8pm).
Spencer advises, “We are currently working to put many of our existing and new programs online to accommodate you, and….please do what you can to help slow the spread of COVID-19, by practicing good hygiene, and staying home if you are sick.”