Monday 27 May 2024

Black History Ottawa President June Girvan 2nd right with the City of Ottawa proclamation. Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and Councilor Rawlson King are left and 2nd left

Youth Leaders Breakfast: Empowering Ottawa’s Future

by Obasola Bamigbola

Ottawa, ON, May 27, 2024 – The stately Sir John A. Macdonald Building was abuzz with youthful energy on Monday morning as over a hundred young leaders from various youth-based organizations across Ottawa gathered for the Youth Leaders Breakfast. The event, a significant fixture in Ottawa’s calendar, brought together emerging leaders with key city officials to discuss and strategize on youth development initiatives in the national capital.

Black History Ottawa volunteers Myra and Joy register participants

The breakfast was graced by prominent figures, including Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, Councillor Rawlson King, and Ottawa-Vanier MP Mona Fortier. Their presence underscored the city’s commitment to fostering an environment where the youth can thrive and contribute to the community’s overall well-being.

Mayor Sutcliffe, in his opening remarks, emphasized the importance of youth engagement in shaping Ottawa’s future.

Councillor Rawlson King chats with some of the youth

Councillor Rawlson King highlighted ongoing municipal initiatives aimed at supporting youth development. He spoke passionately about the need for more accessible resources and opportunities for young people in various sectors. MP Mona Fortier echoed these sentiments, stressing the federal government’s role in providing necessary support for youth programs.

The heart of the event featured enlightening presentations from leaders of youth organizations, who shared insights into their respective programs and initiatives. Adam Halawa spoke about his organization’s focus on leadership training and skill development for young people, aiming to equip them with the tools needed for future success. Chanda Jones highlighted community outreach efforts and mentorship programs designed to foster a sense of belonging and purpose among the youth. Manock Lual shared his organization’s initiatives through basketball.

Black History Ottawa President June Girvan chats with some of the youth

A particularly stirring moment of the morning came from June Girvan President of Black History Ottawa, whose thought-provoking speech on humanity resonated deeply with attendees. She called for greater empathy, understanding, and unity within the community, urging young leaders to champion these values in their endeavours.

The discussions throughout the breakfast revolved around collaborative strategies to enhance youth-focused initiatives, with a strong emphasis on inclusivity and diversity. The event provided a platform for young leaders to voice their ideas, share their experiences, and network with peers and leaders, fostering a collaborative spirit that promises to drive positive change in Ottawa.

Black Ottawa Scene Editor Godwin Ifedi, 3rd left, Roots Executive Director Ketcia Peters, Community activist Yvette Ashiri, and Black History Ottawa President June Girvan with two of the youth

As the breakfast concluded, there was a palpable sense of optimism and determination among the attendees. The Youth Leaders Breakfast not only highlighted the remarkable work being done by youth organizations in Ottawa but also reinforced the collective resolve to create a supportive and empowering environment for the city’s young people.

The Youth Leaders Breakfast 2024 was a testament to the power of youth-driven initiatives and the importance of continued investment in the next generation of leaders. As these young visionaries left the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, they carried with them a renewed sense of purpose and the shared goal of shaping a brighter future for Ottawa.