Two Mississauga students win prestigious Lincoln M. Alexander Award


Published February 22, 2023 at 3:48 pm

Kiya Busby and Hireé Dugassa with Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Parliamentary Assistant Billy Pang

Two young Mississauga residents have been awarded for starting a group that supports Black students.

Today (Feb. 22), the Province of Ontario announced the winners of its prestigious Lincoln M. Alexander Award, an award that honours young people working to end racism. This year, Kiya Busby and Hireé Dugassa, students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, won the Student Award for their achievements as president and vice-president of the Black Futures Lab. 

The Province says Busby founded the Black Futures Lab to “inspire, mentor and empower Black students and create a space for them to have meaningful discussions about anti-Black racism and discrimination.”

Dugassa was recognized for organizing student-led discussions and activities and moderating discussions with notable Black Canadians.

The students and other recipients were honoured by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, at a special ceremony at Queen’s Park. 

“I am delighted to celebrate the recipients of this year’s Lincoln Alexander Award and to congratulate each of them for being catalysts for meaningful, positive change,” Dowdeswell said in a statement. 

“Ontario is more ready than ever to receive the creative ideas and visions of today’s young people, as they continue the legacy of Mr. Alexander by challenging systemic discrimination and acting in substantive and distinctive ways to fight racism.”

The award is named after Alexander, who fought for racial equity in Canada and served as the first Black Member of Parliament, the first Black federal Cabinet Minister, and the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. He was Canada’s first Black vice-regal representative.

The Community Award went to Mariah Rodriguez-Imbarlina, a Black Physicians of Tomorrow member. The Province says Rodriguez-Imbarlina planned, promoted and facilitated events to teach students about the accomplishments of the African diaspora in science, technology, education and mathematics. 

Each Lincoln M. Alexander Award recipient receives a $5,000 cash award and a personalized certificate.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising