Storyteller, author and bookstore co-owner Itah Sadu has a history with the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) that makes her proud. She’s a former first vice-president of the business-focused organization that has named her and a number of other Black women as ‘Women of Honour’.
“When you are honoured by your peers and your community, that’s special,” said Sadu. “I try not to get caught up with the word honour because I believe that you honour God. What I am more touched by is that it’s my community that’s giving me this award.”
Sadu’s knowledge of the publishing industry combined with her love of books and entrepreneurial drive have helped her and husband Miguel San Vicente to make their bookstore, A Different Booklist, a household name in the Caribbean and African-Canadian community.
Several award-winning authors, including Austin Clarke and Olive Senior, have made appearances at the bookstore that’s also a community meeting place.
Just three years after winning a Harry Jerome award (which is also presented by the BBPA), Canada AM Early Edition host and CTV News Channel anchor Marci Ien was another of the honorees at the awards event last week.
A member of the CTV news team for the past 14 years, Ien is on the advisory board of the journalism program at Centennial College, a World Vision volunteer and a motivational speaker.
Born in Toronto and raised in Richmond Hill, Tracy Moore is host of CityLine, Canada’s longest running lifestyle show.
“The fact that I was even considered for this honour means a lot,” said the mother of two young kids who has a degree in political science from McGill University and a Masters in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. “When I think of women and honour, I cast my mind on my mother and what she did so that I could get the education I need to be a useful member of society. I am thrilled that I have been placed in the same company with people like my mom.”
Ebonnie Rowe is part of two successful initiatives that have impacted young people primarily in the Greater Toronto Area. She co-founded the highly successful Each One Teach One mentoring program and founded the Honey Jam showcase 16 years ago which is an eagerly anticipated summer event for young women aspiring to showcase their artistic talents in myriad musical genres.
“I am very honoured and proud to be part of this celebration,” said Rowe, a 2005 YWCA Woman of Distinction recipient.
Former BBPA national scholarship director Harriet Thornhill and Extreme Fitness vice-president Jacqueline Walters were also honoured.
An Athabasca University MBA graduate, Barbados-based Thornhill is the president of Royal Bank of Trinidad & Tobago Eastern Caribbean which was acquired by RBC Canada, Thornhill’s employer for the past three decades.
Walters is a Ryerson University graduate who has a passion for athletic endeavours, including kickboxing.