Showcasing Black Excellence

Written by Savannah Green

It has been a rough few months, from a young 15 year getting shot in Scarborough to the sudden death of Kobe Byrant with his daughter Gianna (Gigi) sad we know, our prayers go to their families, and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we started socially isolating ourselves, Essential workers such as Nurses, doctors, and security working in the hospitals have been doing a wonderful job taking care of us during this time; So I want to thank all the frontline workers you are our heroes. This new decade started off really rocky even though we may want to give up, we don’t, we find new ways to master our craft and focus on what really matters. With everything that is going on we do have a ton of great accomplishments in our community let’s take a minute to recognize them, now let me take you back for one second.

Take a look at Lincoln Alexander. He served as an executive at the University of Guelph for 16 years, was a lawyer, member of parliament, cabinet minister, and a war veteran, a jack of all trades are we right? Well most of us know him as a former lieutenant governor of Ontario and the first visible minority to be in parliament in our country’s history; Next is Donovan Bailey born Jamaican immigrated to Canada as a teenager and made a name for himself by running track and won three world championships in the 100 metre to the 4×100 metre relays and currently held the world record for the 100-meter sprint while managing to win not one but two gold medals at the 1996 Olympics if you want to learn more check out CBC for more information.

Now I know you don’t want to be bored with a bunch of facts I know that but trust it will be worth it to know how far the Afro-Caribbean community has come, one Saturday, February 1 and was honoured to attend such an amazing, inspiring event called Legacy Symposium at the Sheridan Hazel
McCallion Campus. You know that I don’t hear about these types of events within my community it’s the sad truth reason being the people around me don’t look they rather go to an expensive concert for the experience than to learn and be inspired on creating your own business, now I’m not knocking getting tickets to see your favourite artist but my question is, does it add value to what you’re doing? Although, educating ourselves is an essential part of knowing what our history is like and how we have progressed.

Coming from a Caribbean background I am truly in touch with my roots and as the outgoing person I am I love to connect with others within the community as well as other cultures, I then talked to some of my family and we always spoke on the topic of how we as black people don’t necessarily support one another. Which got me thinking, why not? As an entrepreneur myself starting up a business it is hard there are days that you’d want to give up on what your building; I’ve had those days not going to lie but as I entered my last year of Media Communications finding an internship is crucial so I took matters into my own hands and found DF Media Productions and met with such a wonderful person his name… Derrick Fagan the owner of DF Media Productions told me about an amazing event that I wouldn’t miss for the world, what is the event Legacy Symposium planned in just two weeks – WHAT!

On February 1st, 2020, the start of black history month I attended an inspiring event called the Legacy Symposium, saw long time friends, and connected with so many wonderful individuals won’t be long till we connect with each other as well all have businesses to build up. There were many guest speakers like Camille Dundas, Sephton Spence, and Emcee Ebone to name a few.

When Emcee Ebone was announced I thought to myself saying “I know that name” come to see I been following him on Instagram, Ebone shared a stage with the former first black president Barack Obama (he still my president though and I’m Canadian). Listening to Ebone open up about his struggles put a lot of things in perspective from suffering a great loss, he built himself up and never gave up hope and back a voice of the culture. Camille Dundas owner of ByBlacks, keeps it forever real a lot of us need to manage our emotions when it comes to working with a partner whether it be family (i.e. spouse) Camille advises not going into business with your friends as she says “your spouse can’t really go nowhere” while the audience laughs.

While in two of the breakout sessions it was really interactive I got the tools on how to engage my audience but also before I even tried to engage with them I had to first learn who is my target audience, by understanding what they like in terms of content. The Social Media Branding session was full of vibrant panelists such as The Dr. Vibe Show, Nikki Clarke, Camille Dundas, etc. Now let’s go into the Freelancer Gig Economy session here I learned so much essential but important things: 1. to make sure you’re taking care of yourself don’t go into creating a business and think that if you aren’t mentally ready nothing will go as planned (Entrepreneurship is not for everybody) and 2. if you are deliberating on having a partner make sure that you and them are on the same page if you are not then go at what you are doing by yourself and in the long run it will be better for you because maybe having a business partner is not for you.

After attending this event I can truly say that I was truly inspired and educated on what I would need to do for my business as well as the tools needed to strive in what I am building, yes I got to connect with so many wonderful entrepreneurs it was the best day I have had the pleasure of experiencing something so amazing; I know that if there are events like this I will be there supporting and engaging with driven entrepreneurs and making even more genuine connections.

After the event, I got to speak with Ebone one on one and talking to him was one of the major highlights of my night as I got to get the chance to say, “I wish there were events like this for my older brothers because they would probably be where they wanted to be by now” Ebone then agreed. I got to connect with him a lot more just by getting to the nitty-gritty when I asked him when he realized his momentum which was him sharing a stage with Barack Obama (still our president). He was also, interested in what I do as I explained that I’m a YouTuber and a freelancer creating content is what I do, and when he saw the passion when I spoke about it from talking about the passion I had when I spoke about it he was very encouraging. We then spoke on supporting organizations like Afro-Caribbean Business Network and also agreed that nobody knows what anyone is truly going through, your favourite artist goes through there own battles that we don’t even know of no matter how glamourous their life is. After this amazing talk, it was the end of the event and we exchanged contact information who knows one day you might see a collaboration, just by talking to Ebone I got a really good vibe from him, he is such a humble guy and knows that we learn new things every day as he kept reiterating “Education is key” as we are taught different ways to evolve in our careers; with such work ethic and wonderful spirits I can see more great things happening for him – great to meet you Emcee Ebone.

I encourage everyone within the community to invest and support your community it’s time to help build each other up by telling your friends and family about the amazing organization that helps unify us as a community, check out Afro-Caribbean Business Network (ACBN) to get more information and if you want to be a part of these events keep up to date on ACBN website.

I hope to see you guys again at next year’s event, time to build each other up even more.

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