Spring is here finally or is it? Those of us who thought we were used to the vagaries of the change of seasons in the national capital have had to totally rethink the idea all over again. Winter as we have come to know it, has turned on its head and is successfully challenging Spring on the season’s calendar! How else do you explain temperatures of minus 15, windchill minus 22 and snowstorms at the tail end of March? And we were told Spring officially started on March 22. To whoever is up there making up the weather patterns, we say please, please, enough is enough!
And so to the very first “Spring” edition of Black Ottawa Scene. We do have lots of goodies for our readers. The City of Ottawa Wall of Inspiration had some notable additions in the persons of Suzanne Lavertu, Noella Charles, the Agoro family and our champion, ever hard-working Minister of Labour, Yasir Naqvi. Flavours of the East brings you a taste of East Africa, as the student groups hold a fund raiser for various important initiatives for those less privileged in the rural areas of the continent. We also capture images of Ghanaians in Ottawa as they celebrated the 57th anniversary of their independence. Our women’s organisations came together in numbers to celebrate International Women’s Day with keynote speeches by women who have excelled in their respective careers. Heritage Day showcases Ottawa and Canada from the early days. On a sad note, we mourn the passing of Mohamoud Abdulle, whose death in a terrorist attack in Somalia shocked the many people in Ottawa whose lives had been touched by the former community leader.
Under “People making a difference”, we feature award winner Ketcia Peters and Ontario NDP candidate for Vanier Ottawa Hervé Ngamby. For our guest columnist, we are delighted to have lawyer and former mayoral candidate Ike Awgu, sharing his insights on the Afro-centric school system, which made its controversial debut some years ago in Toronto. We continue our interviews with notable figures in the Black community, this time a fascinating conversation with Lucya Spencer, Executive Director of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa, an agency that provides counselling and supports immigrant women and children fleeing abuse and domestic violence. We round out this exciting edition with some more reports from the February Black History Month celebrations, with the University of Ottawa’s welcome to Nelson Mandela’s grandson leading the pack. Finally, we draw your attention to one segment of Black Ottawa Scene that has garnered little attention, that is our polls. Each month we pose a survey question to get a sense of what our readers think of various events in their lives. Do take some time to answer the question; it helps us focus attention on the things that matter to you!
And as usual, we would very much like to hear from you. Tell us what you like in the current or previous editions and what you’d like to see in future editions of Black Ottawa Scene. We are at your service!