When Cheraldean Duhaney looked around for a Black History Month celebration that would reflect her Afro-Caribbean heritage, she was disappointed.
“I was unable to find something suitable for my children and the women in my life,” Duhaney said – so she created her own event in Bradford.
Duhaney, who works with youth at her church and in the community, put together a Black History Month celebration that featured African dance and drumming at a local Afro-Caribbean restaurant.
The event, held back in February, was open to all cultures - and was a tremendous success. Over 70 youth attended.
There was such a positive response and such energy that Duhaney realized, “It can’t just stop here!”
That led her to launch the Centre for Women, Youth & Culture (CWYC) of Simcoe Muskoka, an organization that hopes to empower Afro-Caribbean women and youth in the region.
The CWYC’s stated mssion statement: To connect Afro-Caribbean women and youth in the Simcoe-Muskoka region to their community, so that they can become empowered; to contribute to the betterment and development of Simcoe Muskoka, through arts and culture, sports and recreation, and education.
The group made its first public appearance at the opening ceremonies of Carrot Fest this year.
After the political speeches welcoming visitors, a number of young people took to the main stage, and performed modern dance moves to an Afro-Caribbean beat. They demonstrated another goal of the CWYC: “To get together and have fun,” said Duhaney.
The group has a major event planned for Saturday, Sept. 14 – a Youth Super Saturday 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament at the BWG Leisure Centre, 471 West Park Ave., from 1 to 5 p.m.
There will be music and entertainment, facepainting and food, and an opportunity for interested women and youth to sign up for the CWYC.
To register for the tournament or for more information on the Centre for Women, Youth & Culture, call 416-830-2148.