Province Recognizes Three Young Leaders with the Lincoln M. Alexander Award

Lincoln M. Alexander Award celebrates the efforts of young leaders working to end racism

February 22, 2023

Citizenship and Multiculturalism


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TORONTO – Today, at a special ceremony at Queen’s Park, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented three exceptional young leaders with the Lincoln M. Alexander Award to recognize their work in building a stronger and more inclusive and equitable Ontario.

“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,” said Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “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 Lincoln M. Alexander Award is given annually to students and community leaders who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in working to fight racism and discrimination and promote equity and inclusion in their communities.

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

The 2022 award recipients are listed below:

Student Award

Kiya Busby and Hireé Dugassa are being recognized individually for their achievements as president and vice-president of the Black Futures Lab student club at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Mississauga.

Kiya 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.

Hiree organized student-led discussions and activities and moderated discussions with notable Black Canadians.

Community Award

Mariah Rodriguez-Imbarlina is being recognized with the community award for her efforts to inspire and empower aspiring Black physicians. As part of Black Physicians of Tomorrow, Mariah planned, promoted and facilitated events to teach students about the accomplishments of the African diaspora in science, technology, education and mathematics. Black Physicians of Tomorrow focuses on online community-building and exploring ways of eradicating racism and systemic barriers.

“I offer my sincerest congratulations to the young people and community leaders we honour today. Their work to promote inclusiveness, equality and understanding will make a lasting impact on our communities and province,” said Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “They are leaders in our province and their determination to create a more equitable society is an inspiration to us all.”

“Lincoln M. Alexander’s life-long dedication to building a strong, united, and inclusive country serves as inspiration to us all,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “We celebrate the inspiring and exceptional students who have made it their own life mission to eradicate racism, carrying Lincoln’s legacy into the future.”

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.

Quick Facts

  • Each recipient of Lincoln M. Alexander Award receives a $5,000 cash award and a personalized certificate.
  • In 2013, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario declared January 21 of each year Lincoln Alexander Day, citing Alexander’s life as an example of service, determination and humility.
  • The Lincoln M. Alexander Award has recognized 76 recipients since its establishment in 1993.
  • Recipients of the award are chosen by an independent selection committee in recognition of their leadership and excellence in fighting racial discrimination and advancing social justice and equity.
  • Nominate someone for the Lincoln M. Alexander Award. Nominations close on May 31, 2023.