They say today’s Black youth have no leaders to look up to.
Every time that comment’s made, the discussion invariably turns to the late Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and what a shame they were gone before their time, et cetera. And yes—while it’s certainly true that Black History’s forever marred with their murders, that shouldn’t stop us from striving for excellence nearly 50 years later!
With Shelley Jarrett’s Tales from the 2.9 entry, it got me thinking about the things and people that inspire us most, and that instead of sitting around and hoping today’s youth will find the mentors to guide them down the right path, we should strive to be them.
If we truly invest in the world we want to create, what harm can come from that?
Enjoy today’s post!
What does being Black Canadian mean to you?
Being able to wake up every day and utilise the many opportunities that are available to me, allowing me to walk in my purpose is as important to me as celebrating my culture. For me, it is more about who I am as a woman, in the things I do, people I connect with, and the friendships I form than it is where I come from.
What’s your experience been like as a Black Canadian and how has it shaped who you are today?
As a young girl, I remembered how I would always read magazines like Ebony and Jet and be inspired by all the black leaders. I was raised to have a strong sense of self and to value myself. My education and involvement with the community helped me to navigate my way through circumstances. Believing in my identity and value really helped me determine where I wanted to go in life.
What’s something you’d like to see more of within the Black Canadian community?
I would like to see our community empowered by unifying and having panel discussions on issues affecting us. Paramount among them are economic disparity, social change, and racial discrimination.
What do you think those outside the Black Canadian community need to better understand to coexist with Black Canadians in a respectful and considerate way?
People outside the black community can be more inclusive by participating in more dialogues. Be open to learning more about us as a people, our culture and daily customs by attending our festivals, cultural celebrations and churches.
If your life could teach but one thing to your fellow Black Canadians, what would it be?
In everything you do be authentic because “Character Matters.” It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and one terrible mistake in a day could change that.
Shelley Jarrett — Founder & Publisher SMJ Magazine
SMJ Magazine is an online image lifestyle and business publication issued 4 times a year with limited printed editions and distributed in selected outlets throughout the GTA. We are on all social media platforms. We also have an App, which can be downloaded via Google Play Store and the Apple store.
Awards & Achievements:
- June 2012 – January 2017 over 20 published articles
- July 2013: Received a Canada Glass Award for entrepreneur of the year.
- September 2013: Delivered a Keynote Speech in Ottawa at the “Women in the Media” event for the Network of Black Business and Professional women.
- May 2015: SMJ magazine and Shelley was nominated for two MARTY Awards at the 21st annual celebration at the Living Arts Centre.
- May 2015: Was selected to be part of a panelist “Making it in the Media” and was honoured as one of the 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada by “Infinite” Canadian International Black Women
- May 2016: Again SMJ magazine and Shelley was nominated for two MARTY Awards at the 22nd annual celebration at the Living Arts Centre.
- July 2016: Selected as a Role Model for the 2016 Black Women Awards – inducted as 1 of 100 Black Canadians into the “National Wall of Role Models” to inspire, unite and showcase excellence and positive image from our community.
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