TORONTO – The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario will present three exceptional young leaders with the Lincoln M. Alexander Award today to recognize their commitment to anti-racism and equity in their communities.

The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, was a leading figure in the fight for racial equity in Canada. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his birth.

The Lincoln M. Alexander Award is given annually to students and community leaders who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in working to eliminate racial discrimination. Each recipient receives a $5,000 cash award and a personalized certificate.

The 2021 award recipients are:

  • Sydney Hussett-Richardson. The 23-year-old is the founder of Blackspace at McMaster University and works to dismantle racism and end racial discrimination through public health by developing workshops and programs for her community

  • Emmanuel Adegboyega. The 18-year-old co-founded the Black History Committee at his high school and worked on a special project with the Toronto Catholic District School Board to dismantle racism and discrimination in schools

  • Dina Efrem. The 18-year-old was co-president of her school’s Diverse Student Union where she hosted numerous discussions both at school and in her Ottawa community on race, equity, and social justice.

“One hundred years after Lincoln Alexander was born, there remain distinct inequities and inequalities in our society, and the pandemic has only made them worse,” said Lieutenant Governor Dowdeswell. “Yet, in my time as lieutenant governor, I have met so many young Ontarians who are committed to making meaningful and lasting change. I congratulate this year’s Lincoln Alexander Award recipients, Sydney Hussett-Richardson, Emmanuel Adegboyega, and Dina Efrem, on behalf of a grateful province. May these awards, given in his name, encourage recipients to continue the remarkable work they are doing to build community in these extraordinary times.”

In provincial, federal, public and private roles, Lincoln M. Alexander consistently advocated for the equal treatment of Black Canadians.

“Ontario is proud to be the home of these dynamic young visionaries who are working hard to make our province more equitable and inclusive,” said Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “Ontario endeavours to be a place where all people can live free of discrimination and enjoy equal opportunities for success. It is inspiring to see young people across our province walking in Lincoln Alexander’s footsteps by striving to eliminate racial discrimination and promote social inclusion and equity in their communities.”

“At his core, Lincoln M. Alexander was a pioneer, public servant, and fiercely proud Canadian,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “The next generation of leaders are building upon his legacy and life of service by carrying on the critical work of building inclusive societies that reject racism and hate. I want to extend my personal gratitude to this year’s recipients of the 2021 award, as they inspire our country with courage, action, and transformational change.”

The government encourages all Ontarians to consider nominating outstanding young leaders for this award. Ontario’s robust and extensive honours and awards program also includes the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers and the Volunteer Service Award. Please visit Ontario’s website for more information or to nominate an exceptional young leader, volunteer or volunteer organization.