MAKING CHANGE - BLACk History Month
Making Change is an ad-hoc not-for-profit organization of community volunteers, led by a community of Black women. Launched in 2019 by changemakers Shelly Skinner and Michèle Newton it has grown to include a team of Simcoe County volunteers. Together, they plan and coordinate Making Change Black History Month activities and events for the community.
Michèle Newton presents her Our Mosaic Lives – Celebrating Black Women and Girls art exhibit. Newton began her “Back to Black” journey during Black History Month 2018, interviewing black Canadian women and exploring diversity, inclusion and belonging through their shared views and lived experiences. The resulting photography, poetry, and motivational graphic elements will be exhibited during January and February 2020 at the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library’s, Lakeshore Branch.
Made possible thanks to the support of Innisfil Idealab & Library, Allegra Barrie and KonvoMedia
ART EXHIBIT - INNISFIL ideaLAB & LIBRARY
IN THE SCHOOLS - CARING CONCERTS
Collaborating with Errol Lee in a team of community changemakers, I visited Fred C. Cook Public School in February for their Grades 5-8 "I'm Somebody" Assembly and in April for an inspirational evening of "Parent Connections". It's an honour to share my "Back to Black" experience as part of Caring Concerts' comprehensive educational events with singing, dancing and meaningful messages specifically designed to teach, nurture and model positive character traits through the arts.
Special thanks to my supporters and collaborators Errol and Shay Lee, Pauline Christian, Madeline Temmer, Patrick Voo and Maria Michelle'Lee. We truly are 'Better Together'!
A small but mighty Our Mosaic Lives Art Exhibit called “One Step Forward” was on display through June at Barrie Public Library’s Downtown Branch. It features portraits of local students and key inclusion statements. The Simcoe County District School Board student portraits were captured during a recent Social Isolation and Inclusion initiative.
CITY OF BARRIE
In partnership with The City of Barrie/Creative Barrie, we started off 2019 with a tribute to diversity and inclusion, by presenting “Back to Black”, an installation of the Our Mosaic Lives – Celebrating Black Women and Girls Art Exhibit. The exhibit's photography, poetry, and motivational graphic elements were the result of Michèle Newton's interviews with local black Canadian women exploring diversity, inclusion and belonging. The exhibit was displayed for January in the Barrie City Hall Rotunda and included a reception with official remarks and a welcome from Mayor Jeff Lehman. The exhibit has since travelled to Barrie Public Library and The YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka. Special thanks to community supporters Allegra Printing and Konvo Media.
GIRLS STAND TALL
We loved our collaboration with Ellie Arscott of
Girls Stand Tall to create a portrait installation for the Our Mosaic Lives - Celebrating Black Canadian Women and Girls exhibit held in Barrie during January 2019. These portraits are also part of Ellie's larger Girls Stand Tall project comprised of over 200 portraits.
MAKING CHANGE - BLACk History Month
Community changemakers Shelly Skinner and Michèle Newton collaborated to co-present Making Change, Barrie's first Black History Month Kick-off Event. A partnership between Pleasure Diva Presents, City of Barrie and Our Mosaic Lives, it highlighted the role of diversity and inclusion in honouring the past, embracing the present and supporting the future. Speakers, artists, musicians and poets from across Simcoe County were featured. A portion of proceeds went to support the YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka's Immigration Services programming.