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Lincoln Alexander Awards

Archived Backgrounder

Lincoln Alexander Awards

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Created in 1993 to commemorate the term of the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander as Ontario's 24th Lieutenant Governor, the award recognizes young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in eliminating racial discrimination. Two of the awards are presented to full-time students who attend high school or who will pursue post-secondary education. One award is presented to an Ontarian working in a community setting. Each award recipient receives $5,000 and a scroll signed by the Lieutenant Governor and the Premier of Ontario.

Candidates are nominated by a faculty member at their school and community award nominees are submitted by a community organization or agency.  An independent selection committee reviews all nominations and selects the recipients.

Student Award Recipients

Sophia Kemeh, of Brampton

After a painful experience where she was the object of a racial joke, Sophia started a group on Facebook called "My Name is ....and I have been racially discriminated against." The initiative aimed to "personalize racism." Within days of starting the group, nearly a hundred individuals had signed on. Sophia has shown to her peers that a racial slur can never have innocent consequences or be without victims

Mariajosé Lopez, of Toronto

A year after arriving in Canada from Colombia in 2007, Mariajosé organized the first ever Multicultural Week at her school as a way of celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. That same year she became the assistant curriculum leader of the ESL Department at Central Commerce Collegiate. For three years, Mariajosé has spearheaded efforts to break down barriers of race and culture at the school, enabling students to showcase their diversity.

Community Award Recipient

Antonius Jamal Clarke, of Toronto

In 2004, Antonius founded The Friends in Trouble Youth Initiative, a non-profit organization that helps bridge the gap in the Jane/Finch area between those individuals who have and those who have not. Since its creation, the organization has assisted more than 5,000 Ontarians and their families through empowerment, education and advocacy.

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