The way Roen Higgins sees it, sisters in the Black community, especially those in the English speaking sector, need a solid dose of the empowerment elixir to “revive the soul.”
The youthful and highly popular educator, spoken-word artist and community advocate says she is troubled by the number of Black women who’re stunted emotionally or professionally by the many false perceptions they carry of themselves.
So true-to-form, the creative go-getter that she is, Higgins is doing something about it.
On the evening of Tuesday, March 12, she is inviting women of color to Espace Knox in NDG to participate in an event geared especially at assisting them “harness and own their dreams and emotions,” in times of transitions and changes in their lives.
Higgins says too many of the women she has come to know find themselves unusually burdened by upheavals in their lives as they go through the growing pains of loss, changes and transitions.
She describes these changes as “shifts” and her evening of inspirational discourse is a way to start the process of “empowering women to own their shifts.”
To make it happen, she has put together a panel of four women who themselves have been making inroads in their chosen field of expertise and are on a path to professional and personal success.
Higgins, whose community service and creative accomplishments have been recognized by Montreal Community Care Awards, Black Theatre Workshop and Fonds 1804 is confident that her panel of “doers and achievers have what it takes to help women make the “Shift” happen in different areas of their lives.
She sees the evening as “a soul revival.”
The four panelists cover a range of experiences and expertise:
Sabrina Jafrallie is an award-winning teacher at Westmount High School, where she teaches Ethics and Religion.
She recently earned her Ph.D. from McGill University and brings a wealth of research and knowledge in that that area of study. Last year, in recognition of her prowess in the field and in the classroom, Jafralie was honored with the Prime Minister’s Teaching Award of Excellence. She has also distinguished herself by her ongoing commitment to community work and building bridges through her interfaith initiatives.
Jafralie will share her perceptions on “Faith” with the Shifts audience.
From as early as her days at Coronation Elementary School, Nadia Bunyn began to chart her path to the world of fashion and design, a journey that inevitably lead to the International School of Fashion, Art and Design at LaSalle College in downtown Montreal, and has been on an upward trajectory ever since.
Her fashion line, Maison BLCKMSSN with much of her designs created out of what she describes as “upcycled and modern fabrics,” can be found in a number of boutiques across the city where Montreal’s hip set roam.
And has been showcased at the annual art and design underground festival, ARtSouterrain, at Caribbean Fashion Week among others.
Her boundary-less creations have also found favor with several recognized Quebec artistes such as Aiza, Nomadic Massive and Paul Cargnello as well as on a few corporate platforms such as Coca Cola and Gillette.
Also, earning a coveted spot in the “Mastered” platform cemented her status as one of the up-and-coming brands around the world to watch.
Bunyun, who will share with the audience her take on “fashion,” sees it as “more than just the appreciation of stylish clothing, but as a platform to encourage and celebrate the individual beyond basic perceptions and the expression of varied perspectives.”
Maria Durant will talk to women about finance. And as the force behind ‘Every Penny Accounts–Bookkeeping Services,’ she has accumulated a wealth (!) of information on how maintaining proper finances can help in the path of empowerment.
Many have benefitted from her passion for the work that she does including newly trained bookkeepers that she has been able to assist in finding employment and connection.
Durant, who also professes her commitment to community building serves as the vice-chairperson of the West Island Black Community Association.
Aisha Delpeche is a life-coach with a steadily growing following, which she developed from her keeping a solid presence in the community and across the city.
Drawing from her life experiences she has been helping “create spaces for women to get raw and real about their truth.”
She professes an extensive portfolio of “creative tips and tricks” that can help (women) “pick their mess up and sort out their ish.” She will speak on theme “future/fun.”
All four speakers will engage in an interactive session with the audience that’s expected to create evening of inspiration, education and entertainment.
Guests will be serenaded by two of this city’s enchanting performers Dorothy Ann Clarke, and the Fitz-Patrick Sisters. Additional music by DJ Lady Oracle.
SHIFT at Espace Knox, 6215 Godfrey, NDG H4B 1K3. Tuesday, March 12th 6:30 P.M.
Tickets: General Admission $30 on Eventbrite.