June 12, 2020 TORONTO -
The Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) announced the 2020 honourees for the 38th Annual BBPA Harry Jerome Awards, presented by TD Bank Group online, on Thursday June 11, 2020. The “Decade Leaders” theme pays tribute to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (UNDPAD), which Canada officially recognized in 2018.
Established in memory of Harry Jerome, an outstanding African-Canadian Olympic athlete, scholar and social advocate, the BBPA Harry Jerome Awards is an annual celebration that honours outstanding and inspirational African-Canadians.
“There was no one quite like Harry Jerome in the history of Canadian athletics,” said BBPA Harry Jerome award co-chair Donna Walwyn. “He became a worldwide ambassador for Canada as a whole, and Black athletic excellence in particular. His inspiring example lives on today, which is why we are so proud to continue his legacy of service and excellence with these awards.”
The BBPA Harry Jerome Awards are recognized as one of the most prestigious national annual awards galas in the African-Canadian community, and are a symbol of Black achievement. Honourees receive awards in eleven categories. This year’s categories include arts, athletics, leadership, business, professional excellence, community service, lifetime achievement, trailblazer, young entrepreneur, the president’s award, and the humanitarian award.
Special guests who paid tribute to the awardees included Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the Hon. Ahmed Hussen MP, Minister
of Families, Children and Social Development, Toronto
Mayor John Tory, Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson, and Eddie Bullen & Son’s (a musical tribute).
“I am honoured to join the distinguished guests and award winners,” said title sponsor Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group, at the ceremony. “We love recognizing successful Black individuals, especially at a time of heightened concern for Black racism. At TD we are creating a business for a more equitable society and a just world.''
The award event is a fundraiser in support of the BBPA’s work to promote the advancement of the Black-Canadian community, and recognizes recipients in the areas of education, economic and entrepreneurial development, and young professional training and development, while also paying tribute to outstanding and inspirational African-Canadians.
“This year's Harry Jerome Awards honourees are truly representative of the theme ‘Decade Leaders,’” said BBPA president Nadine Spencer. “As we work together to build a future free of anti-Black racism, the BBPA will continue to fight for equality, justice, and the empowerment of Black business owners and Black professionals.”
The BBPA Harry Jerome honourees include:
- Lyriq Bent, BBPA Harry Jerome Arts Award
- Masai Ujiri BBPA Harry Jerome Athletics Award
- Norma McCormack BBPA Harry Jerome Professional Excellence Award
- Cheryl Kerr, BBPA Harry Jerome Business Award)
- Tanya Sinclair, BBPA Harry Jerome Leadership Award
- Nathan Hall, RBC Young Entrepreneur Award
- Jodie Glean, BBPA Harry Jerome Diversity Award
- Samantha Mahfood, BBPA Harry Jerome Humanitarian Award
- Adam Lake, BBPA Harry Jerome Community Service Award
- Trevor Massey, BBPA Harry Jerome Lifetime Achievement Award
- Businesses of Little Jamaica Eglinton Avenue West, Presidents’ Award