My Story in Thursday's first print edition in 2024

(my first story in the Caribbean Camera
this year)
New Ontario Lieutenant Governor Edith Dumont got it right the first time. On New Year's Day, she announced 25 new appointments to the Order of Ontario for 2023. In her first list since taking the job in early November, she has shone a spotlight on people who have made exceptional contributions to help build a stronger province, nation, and world.
Four members of Toronto’s Black and Caribbean communities are among the 25 new appointments to the Order of Ontario, the province's highest honour. Lieutenant Governor Edith Dumont recognized Geran Fearon, Dwayne Morgan, Hazelle Palmer, and Florence Ngenzebuhoro, who have earned the province's highest civilian honour for their extraordinary contributions.
Gervan Fearon
Members are invested with the Order’s insignia. Appointees are given the post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials or post-nominal titles (letters placed after a person’s name) to indicate the honour held by the individual.
• Gervan Fearon is the president of George Brown College and the former president of Brock University. The former President and Vice-Chancellor at Brock University, Brandon University. Dr. Gervan Fearon has a vision for equity, inclusion, and community empowerment. His influential contributions to the white paper, “Towards a Vision for the Black Community,” pioneered ideas for positive change.
Fearon was a co-founder of the Canada Caribbean Institute. He was the co-author of an important economic impact analysis of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Caribbean Festival. Fearon was born to Jamaican parents in England. He lived briefly as a youngster in Jamaica before coming to Canada.
• When Dwayne Morgan discovered a love for writing in high school, the “spoken-word” genre didn’t exist. As a Black teenager from Scarborough, few doors opened, and he launched “Up From The Roots Entertainment,” producing opportunities for other racialized artists. January 1st was one lucky day for Morgan. Not only did he receive the Order of Ontario, he also received the Order of Canada on the same day!
• Florence Ngenzebuhoro is the CEO of the Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto. She is helping tens of thousands of Francophone immigrants annually. She arrived in Canada in 1994 as a refugee from Burundi and had to navigate support services in a foreign language. This sparked a desire to help others and a fearless commitment to ensure all newcomers are treated with compassion and dignity.
She has been recognized as one of Canada’s most influential minority rights advocates whose efforts have helped Ontario become a more inclusive and welcoming place. One of Florence Ngenzebuhoro’s proudest accomplishments has been to organize the annual Black History Month gala recognizing the immense contributions of Black Canadians.
• Hazelle Palmer is a senior executive with more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector who has fought to advance minority rights throughout her career. Her vision of a more just society is enabling others to thrive. As the current President and CEO of Sherbourne Health, Hazelle dramatically expanded services for Toronto’s underserved populations. As the former Managing Editor of Healthsharing Magazine in the 1990s, she championed stories tackling difficult issues. As the former Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Toronto and then the AIDS Committee of Toronto, she used her platform to improve social conditions.
Born in London, England, and raised in Montreal, Hazelle is proud of her Caribbean heritage.
“These Ontarians have demonstrated the highest levels of merit, excellence, and dedication in their respective disciplines, and they have made significant impacts here at home and around the world," said Lieutenant Governor Edith Dumont. “Our province gratefully acknowledges their remarkable contributions, which inspire us all to be leaders and change-makers.”

 This story was front page news. Toronto Caribbean Camera, first edition of 2024


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