Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, centre, with Black community leaders at the ceremony

Wednesday 7 February 2024

All photos credit: Obasola Bamigbola

Councillor Rawlson King, 4th left, with Black community leaders

Some 200 members from Ottawa’s diverse communities were on hand as the City of Ottawa celebrated the 2024 Black History Month in the Council Chambers of City Hall. Mayor Mark Sutcliffe led the celebrations by paying tribute to the contributions of people of African descent to the evolution of Canada’s national capital and the country in general. The city’s only Black elected councillor followed with an inspirational speech Rawlson King, chronicling the achievements of various Black community leaders, social justice advocates and the various volunteer-driven community organizations that play a vital role in uplifting and advocating for the rights of people of colour. Among those present were members of the city’s premier heritage organization, Black History Ottawa, led by President June Girvan, Joanne Robinson, Godwin Ifedi and Jean-Marie Guerrier. Others were the President of Jaku Konbit, Ken Campbell; Tony Jacob of the ACB Wellness Centre; community leader and political aspirant Yvette Ashiri; John Adeyefa, and Hector Addison., President and Director of Operations respectively of the African Canadian Association of Ottawa, and Claudine Mitchell, President of the Jamaica Ottawa Community Association, who did double duty by with her powerful rendition of the Canadian national anthem and the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.

A cross section of Black community leaders at the event
Community leaders Ken Campbell, Godwin Ifedi, John Adeyefa and Jean Marie Guerrier stand for the Canadian national anthem
Claudine Mitchell sings the Canadian national anthem and the Black anthem
Mayor Mark Sutcliffe welcomes the guests
Councillor Rawlson King with an inspirational speech
A drone’s eye-view of Council Chambers at the event
“Black is beautiful”. Our awesome-looking ladies take the stage for a group pic.