Letter from the Editor: February 2021

Godwin Ifedi Editor
Photo by Darren Goldstein/DSG Photo.

Good morning folks

Hope you are all keeping safe and well in these troubled times, as we enter the next phase of this enduring pandemic. Our hope is that now that the covid 19 vaccine has been rolled out, it will not be too long before this deadly disease becomes a distant memory, so we can all return to life as we had known it pre-covid.

Our Top Story for February is the appointment of Suzanne Obiorah as the new Director, Gender and Race Equity with the City of Ottawa. Black Ottawa Scene salutes this quiet, unassuming but highly respected community advocate for her achievements and wish her well in her new position. We also report on the appointment of Michelle James as ACB Mental Health coordinator with Somerset West Community Health Centre, taking on some of the responsibilities that Suzanne had with the African Caribbean and Black Mental Health Coalition.

The long running saga of the death of Abdi Abdirahman at the hands of the Ottawa Police appears to have reached a conclusion, as both his family and the Ottawa Police, reached an out-of-court settlement. Hopefully the police, other law enforcement authorities and especially the various levels of government, would have learned a few lessons from this tragedy, on how to deal with persons suffering from mental illness. Speaking of mental illness, we also bring you in this edition, Sharon Roberts‘ personal story of her journey with life-long depression.

After a long hiatus, we are bring back with our Interviews, with a conversation with film producer, Kathryn Fasegha. Knowing that many of our readers would be breathing a big sigh of relief on the timely and ignominious exit of lunatic President Donald Trump, we asked community icon Ewart Walters to answer the question: Can it happen here in Canada?

We also bring you a short story about racial profiling. Although it is fictional, the story is very real for people of colour in Canada; coming from one of our white contributors, Marie-Helene Carr, it is a must-read for everyone.

Saying goodbye to our Youth Editor

Illili Ahmed

We are using this edition to say goodbye to our Youth Editor, Illili Ahmed. Illili has been with Black Ottawa Scene for over two years. During her volunteer tenure, she presided over the youth portfolio, contributing news and articles from the perspective of students and other young people, and recruiting others to do the same. We salute her contributions and wish her well with her studies at the University of Ottawa.

Here is the result of the January 2021 poll: Are you hopeful your life will be better in 2021 than 2020? Yes 71% No 29% Thank you to all who voted. Do remember to vote in the February, 2021 poll: Do you feel that the establishment of an Anti-Racism secretariat by the City of Ottawa would reduce the incidence of racism in the city?

All the best to our readers and do remember to follow public health guidelines to keep yourselves and your families safe and in good health.

Peace and love.

Godwin Ifedi Editor

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