JEFF KARIUKI - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
I am a youth advocate and community leader with over fourteen years experience working with multicultural inner-city youth. My goal is to provide opportunities for youth empowerment and transformation.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
When I reach goals that I've set for myself and master something I'm working on. I'm inspired by family, and leaders like President Obama, Martin Luther King and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia to name a few. Also, people who have overcome great odds and have committed themselves to the service of others.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Once I discovered that my life work was to work with youth, I committed myself to learning everything I could to be the best youth advocate and community leader I could be. My future goal is to start my own youth foundation.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Like my hero Martin Luther King Jr., I want to be remembered for trying to love and serve humanity and for being a drum major for Justice.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
I make time every week to connect with family and friends. There nothing more important in life than family and friends.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Food: I'm originally from Kenya so I love Kenyan food. I also enjoy a good steak and mashed potatoes as well.
Books: I love self help books frpm authors like Brian Tracy, Les Brown and Napoleon Hill.
Music: I enjoy African, Latin, Reggae, R&B, Rap and Gospel music.
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experience as a black Canadian has been positive for the most part. I believe Canada is a great country that supports people from all over the world. I would like to see more unity among Black Canadians especially uniting on issues the black community faces at this time i.e.poverty, teen violence and fatherlessness. We also need more black Canadians to get involved in social justice.
What is the Black community doing right or wrong in Canada?
We need to become participants and not just spectators in all areas of black life, especially politics and our young people’s lives. There is too much complaining and not enough participation or offering and engaging in solutions to the challenges we face.
Do Blacks support black music, events and businesses?
We support music but we can do better with supporting black owned events and businesses especially those in our cities and community.
Do we have musical artists in Canada that are as good or better than those in the US?
I believe we have great black talent here in Canada but we need to support them so they don't have to go abroad to find success.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Artists?
Drake, Kardinal Offishall, Jully black, Divine Brown and D'bi Young.
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada
We have a rich history of blacks who came from different countries both through the underground railway and by air. Many Black Canadians have contributed to building, shaping and contributing in making Canada great. It’s a history that we need to teach our youth.