OCDSB Graduate Receives Ontario Lincoln M. Alexander Award

OCDSB Graduate Receives Ontario Lincoln M. Alexander Award
Posted on 01/21/2022
OCDSB Graduate Receives Ontario Lincoln M. Alexander Award

Dina EfremWe are excited to share that OCDSB graduate Dina Efrem was one of three recipients of the Lincoln M. Alexander Award.

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.

A graduate of Nepean High School, Dina 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.

She joins Ontario students Sydney Hussett-Richardson and Emmanuel Adegboyega in receiving this award.

“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.”

Throughout her time at the OCDSB, Dina was an exceptional advocate for equity and social justice. She was a member of Nepean High School's Diverse Student Union (DSU) since grade 9, and has helped organize the school’s Black History Month assembly and multicultural festival. In grade 10, her courageous work resulted in leadership roles on several DSU subcommittees, and in her graduating year she passionately served as the DSU’s co-head. 

She also facilitated and constructed bi-weekly lessons on anti-racism and hosted discussions on relevant topics, and with Dina’s help the DSU has made strong ties within the OCDSB and with other DSUs and Black Student Unions across the board. She helped inform her school’s educators on the importance of including Black joy, voices, and history in classes during Black History Month, and collaborated with school departments to ensure diverse perspectives are included in class. In the summer of 2021, she also supported the OCDSB’s Grade 9 Africentric English course.

For her efforts at Nepean, she was her school’s valedictorian and nominated for an OCDSB Excellence in Equity Student Recognition Award.

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