If there’s one thing I know I could improve on as a Black Canadian, it’s my involvement in politics and keeping abreast of the issues affecting my larger community.
It’s one thing to vote—the bare minimum we can do as our civic duty—but we often take this right for granted, usually choosing an incumbent to continue doing their job, regardless of whether they reflect what we want from our elected officials or not.
That is—if we choose to vote at all.
If we want to see the changes we know are so direly needed in the environment around us, we can’t sit idly by and wait for someone to solve things for us—we need to get involved today and put people in power who are keenly aware of Black issues if we ever want to progress in the right direction. Remember—though Prime Minister Trudeau’s Cabinet’s praised as the most diverse in Canadian history, intentional or not, at first 2.9% wasn’t even large enough proportionally to see any Black faces on it1.
Sherika touches on this need and so much more in the post below—I hope you enjoy it!
What does being Black Canadian mean to you?
Being Black in Canada to me means many things. Number one for me, I am proud to not only be a black Canadian but also that my parents chose Canada to migrate to from Jamaica. The decision they made has allowed me to have privileges that many around the world often do not get to experience. Being a black Canadian means I am present and aware of my culture and the contributions that others have made before me, to make this country what it is today. I am excited to be a part of this generation and seeing all the accomplishments that we are making and how we continue to excel and make amazing contributions to Canadian culture.
What’s your experience been like as a Black Canadian and how has it shaped who you are today?
So far I can say my experience as a black Canadian woman has been a continuous learning curve. As I continue to experience being invited into different opportunities, whether it be through TV hosting, motivational speaking, or writing, I have made a conscious effort to use being a black Canadian woman as a positive, not a negative. It has shaped me to be not only conscious of how I decide to show up in the world but to be sensitive to other cultures and their experiences in Canada.
What’s something you’d like to see more of within the Black Canadian community?
I would like to see more participation in the political well-being of our country and that being taught to the generations to come. I feel we have made amazing strides in politics as black people in Canada as a whole but we are still underrepresented. I think teaching the next generation the importance of participation and getting your voice heard will have positive ripple effects. Our voice is important and it matters! If we continue to educate our community of the importance of having full political participation and access, the better our chances are of seeing the change we want for the black community.
What do you think those outside the Black Canadian community need to better understand in order to coexist with Black Canadians in a respectful and considerate way?
People outside our community need to not be dismissive of our history or downplay our pain in Canada and abroad. They need to take the time to learn about our community and the struggles we endured and still do to this day. This will give outsiders a broader perspective and understanding on the black experience as a whole.
If your life could teach but one thing to your fellow Black Canadians, what would it be?
Wow, so many things! But ultimately I would like my life to teach lessons of resiliency. If you fall down 10 times get up the 11th and keep it moving! Life can throw you some serious storms sometimes, but those storms are temporary and if you keep your eyes on the bigger plan for your life great things will happen. I’m a living testimony that storms we face in life do not have to destroy you, keep bouncing back and keep the faith alive!
Motivational Speaker, Author,
Rogers TV Talk Show Host of “Women on the Rise”
Sherika Powell is on a purpose driven journey! Her passion is encouraging and helping women reach their full potential. She believes we can go from surviving our adversities to thriving through them anything is possible with faith. Sherika Powell not only has a heart for women and girl empowerment, she is also a childhood survivor of sexual abuse. Her mission is to break the silence from this epidemic that continues to plague our society. As a speaker her mission is to share her journey and encourage others that they too can strive to live their BEST life! Sherika’s many platforms consists of hosting Women Unchained Podcast Show, Motivational Speaking, Author of “A Woman Unchained. Breaking the Silence of Childhood Sexual Abuse. A Warriors Journey”! As well as her latest platform, Rogers TV Talk Show Host of “Women on the Rise” in Durham Region, Ontario. Sherika has also been named one of the Top 100 Black Women To Watch In Canada by CIBWE 2016.
1This changed with the Honourable Ahmed Hussen assuming office as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship on January 10, 2017.