Black Changemakers 2023
CBC is highlighting Black people in Quebec who are giving back, inspiring others and helping to shape our future.
A word from Dionne Codrington, producer of Black Changemakers
Come back each day in February to find a new story.
Every single educator, every single worker, staff member who is in the school — you are writing their story.
I am what they call in French a passeur, someone who transmits heritage to the other generations.
We want to lead by example when it comes to showing what diversity really is.
We have to be everything to these young people. What you see on the court on game day — that’s the easiest part of my job.
I want to undo those biases that people have just sort of absorbed without ever questioning them.
I was determined to assist anyone — any student who needed my help.
I always felt like I was doing something right if there was a great mix of people that would come and respond to the music that we were putting on the table.
I was pretty effective as an advocate, but I felt like I needed a sharper tool.
They’ve done a bad thing, it doesn’t make them a bad person.
Your hair can be beautiful in so many different ways.
It’s about healing from those stories that we inherit. It’s about making sense of the silences … and making meaning for ourselves.
I was a little Black girl in the West Island saying wait, hold on. My hair is beautiful? My skin is beautiful?
One thing that we all have in common is the historical barriers that have prevented us from accumulating wealth and assets.
The fact of having something that works, even if it’s small, I believe gives a lot of hope.
It was my love letter to my community.… It was really creating a space of belonging, a space that looked like us, that felt like us.
[My daughter] can now gravitate towards a kingdom that actually exists, [that] she can aim to visit one day.
[Kids] were not accustomed to seeing a Black young lady figure skating, so that really enticed a lot of children.
It’s a tool that we use to get more kids, to attract more kids, not to play basketball, but for the other programs that we have.
I just want to mesh my love and passion for community.
I’m doing something that is dear to me.… I think it can be challenging but ultimately it needs to be done.
[I want to] reach as many women as possible and give them tools to create change at their own scale.
Waking up in the morning and doing what you love to do is success.
We want our children to emerge stronger, smarter.
We are not there to judge you.… What can you do to make your life better?
There’s something about that rawness of you creating the music with your body.
We need to fight to have our own space and our own voices.
Maybe we didn’t have the same role models when we were growing up, but we want to be that for the next generation.
We’re born into a space. But the most important thing is not what happens to you but actually what you do to improve your surroundings.