By Sisi Akhigbe
My name is Sisi Akhigbe,
I am a passionate, young black woman with a drive to see change in my community.
On June 1, 2020 this drive led me to start a GoFundMe campaign in support of the Black Lives Matter protest held by “No Peace Until Justice” in the city of Ottawa on June 5th. In a time of crisis where people are hurting and in need of hope,I wanted to support and encourage the good efforts that were taking place.
I was initially hoping to raise $1500 to be able to supply 1000 water bottles and 1000 snacks to the protesters in attendance. However, with the immense community support of this initiative, the campaign went viral within just a few short days and we managed to raise $9004.14.
The incredible oupour of donations from the community enabled myself and a team of 75 volunteers to supply over 3000 water bottles, 2000 snacks and 2000 juice boxes for the participants of this historic protest.
Beverages and snacks that had been left over from the protest were donated to the Carling Family Shelter and the Boys and Girls Club Ron Kolbus Clubhouse.After seeing the need, we also donated an additional 400 juice boxes for the children at the family shelter!
The effort had garnered so much support that we were further able to support another incredible organization. On Thursday June 18, we donated all remaining funds in the amount of $6276.80 to Britannia Woods Community House.
This is where Building Bridges for Black Youth Non-Profit organization was born. Building Bridges was simply birthed out of a deep desire to support the community. Our vision is to help mobilize black youth by connecting them with mentors and networks as well as to amplify community initiatives through media platforms.Our goal is to spread awareness about issues affecting black youth in order to promote inclusion, unity, and cohesion.
As a 2019 graduate from Carleton University, I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law. My interest in legal and political studies has furthered aspirations to one day become a politician. It is my hope to show other black youth that they too can become great and utilize their platforms to help others.
Some of my extra curricular engagement includes involvement in the Young Leaders Advisory Council and Transforming Life Center International where I serve as a children’s teacher, chorister and soloist. Lastly, I serve as a leader in Campus Rush Global, a youth organization that is comprised of Christian students across university Campuses. I assist with providing guidance, service navigation and international resources.
I am beyond grateful for the success of this initiative and look forward to continuing to contribute to the development of the black community in Ottawa!