The GOWN: African Scholars Awards is organized by the African Alumni Association
We educate, empower, and elevate members of our Afro-Canadian community. We organize workshops, webinars, and other social interactions. Furthermore, we promote equitable cultural exchanges through mentorship and roundtable discussions. We also provide support for African newcomer students to smoothly transition into Canadian academic and social life.
In 2017 we created The GOWN: African Scholars Awards whose aim is to recognize, appreciate, and reward African excellence by honouring members who positively impact our communities. These annual awards include the Influencers Award, the Emerging Scholars Award, the Social Innovation Award, the Distinguished Volunteer Award, the Global Impact Award, and the Community Development Award.
In 2018 we launched the annual Refugee Awareness Week (RAW) initiative. The RAW is one of our central annual programs that offers an opportunity for Africans and Canadians to collaboratively discuss the global refugee issues. These conversations help shed light on the contributions of former refugees to the Canadian economic, social, cultural, and political landscape.
In 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, the association became the community comfort for members who felt isolated and distressed. We started the African Mental Health Series (AMHS) which were hosted on a weekly basis. These forums featured various psychotherapists, counsellors, social workers, and other professionals who shared useful strategies to navigate the crisis with our community members.