Celebrating Black History Month!



Join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel in celebrating Black History Month – Feb 1–28, 2021. The 2021 African Heritage Month theme, Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share and Act, recognizes the important legacy of people of African descent and the long-standing history in the development of Canada. The theme brings focus and increased awareness of racialized issues of a community that has overcome great adversity for inclusion.

This month we are celebrating Past, Present and Future inspirational Black Canadian figures and sharing how Big Brothers Big Sisters is making an impact in the lives of black youth through our Black Community Advisory Council Program.

Past Present and Future Inspirational Black Canadian Figures!

Jean Augustine (Past)

As an educational administrator, a social justice activist and a politician, Jean Augustine was the first Black woman to be elected as a Member of Parliament, back in 1993. While working at the federal level, she served as the National President of the Congress of Black Women of Canada, and also introduced Black History Month in Canada to the House of Commons in December of 1995.

The University of Toronto graduate was born on September 9th, 1937 in Saint George’s Grenada.

Kayla Grey (Present)

On January 19th, 2018, Kayla Grey became the first black woman to ever host a flagship sports highlight show in Canada! As a graduate of Toronto’s College of Sports Media, Kayla began her broadcasting career in Winnipeg as a Digital Broadcast Journalist for Global News. The 28 year-old Toronto native has made appearances on both CTV and Etalk, and even reported on the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship. Kayla Grey now works as an anchor for SportsCentre and TSN.

Randell Adjei (Present)

Randell Adjei is an author, motivational speaker, arts educator and community leader who uses spoken word to empower individuals, through education and entertainment. He is the founder of one of Toronto’s largest and longest running youth led initiatives; Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E Edutainment).

Amariyanna Copeny (Future)

13-year-old Amariyanna Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, is a youth activist from Flint Michigan. She is best known for raising awareness about Flint’s ongoing water crisis and fundraising to support underprivileged children in her community and across the U.S. For the past five years she has been fighting to get clean water, not just in Flint, but also in the hundreds of communities nationwide dealing with toxic water. Leaders all over the world have recognized her, including Barack and Michelle Obama.

“Future” inspiration takes a look at the younger generation of Black leaders and how they are positively representing our demographic at such a young age. It is also a motivational call to the youngest generation, reminding them that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to.

“Big or small, we can all make a difference! Now, picture yourself!”

Big Brothers Big Sisters BCAC Mentoring Program!

As a part of the Black Community Advisory Council & BBBSP partnership, a mentoring program was created 2013 where black mentees are matched with black mentors for a minimum of a 1-year commitment.

This program is designed to promote a strong cultural identity and a sense of belonging in Black youth. The youth benefit from mentoring relationships with Black mentors who share lived experience, promote a strong cultural identity and are able to provide encouragement, support and response strategies when barriers or challenges including discrimination impact their mentee.

We are celebrating 40 matches in this program this year with another 89 youth served in the BCAC Teen Mentoring Program in partnership with local elementary and secondary schools.

The impact of our BCAC program is life changing!  Here are some words from one of our BCAC mentors, Danielle Reynolds!

“Being Aaliyah’s Big Sister has been a great opportunity for me to see the impact of having a black mentor.  It’s been great to see her become a proud black woman – proud of who she is and proud of her background.”