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OTTAWA, January 26, 2021 – Tara Lapointe, the Executive director of Fondation Michaëlle Jean Foundation, is pleased to welcome Edward Matwawana as Program Director.

As the Program Director, Edward will be responsible for, among other programs and partnerships, the National Black Canadian Summit and the Power of the Arts Forum.

With significant experience in economic development, entrepreneurship, education and work with disadvantaged youth, Edward will use his skills and expertise to advance the mandate of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation to work at the intersection of youth, arts and entrepreneurship for social change.

“It’s a great pleasure to welcome Ed to our team. Throughout his career, he has developed deep connections with people and organizations across the sectors of community engagement, music and the arts and entrepreneurship. I am delighted to have his skills and knowledge to help us grow the impact of the Foundation and provide voice and opportunities for young people in our communities,” adds Tara Lapointe, Executive Director.

As the Foundation celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021 with a rich calendar of events, activities and programs, Ed will contribute actively to enhance the Foundation’s strategic mission to support thousands of youths in mobilizing against isolation, exclusion and all forms of discrimination, injustice and appalling inequity in our society.

About Edward Matwawana:

Originally from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Edward has spent the last two decades as a Community Economic Developer, focused on people development, advocacy, training, youth and entrepreneurship.

Ed served in various capacities for community organizations such as Regional Residential Services Society (RRSS), Black United Front of Nova Scotia (BUF), African Nova Scotian Training Centre (ANSTC), Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development (CEED) and the Black Business Initiative (BBI). Ed continued with his passion for community and capacity building through the Catholic Centre for Immigrants and World Skills Centre in Ottawa.

Ed served on several boards and committees such as Music Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Talent Trust, African Heritage Foundation, North End Community Health Clinic, amongst others. As a founding member and past president of the African Nova Scotian Music Association (ANSMA), Ed helped develop, profile and promote many artists locally, nationally and internationally.

Ed was honoured by the Urban Music Association of Canada (UMAC) in 2003, with a Special Achievement Award for his work in promoting urban music in Atlantic Canada. In the same year, Ed received the National Humanitarian Griot Awards for his work with the youth, arts, community and the enhancement of African countries’ education and health systems. In January 2009, Ed was featured on the CBC TV program “Living Halifax” as one of Halifax’s Heroes for his involvement in community economic development, entrepreneurship education, work with troubled youth and his contribution to Canada’s musical Mosaic.

Ed summarizes his philosophy in these words: True leaders spend their energies nurturing other leaders.

About the FMJF

The mission of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation is to facilitate far reaching connections and create platforms for dialogue and action to eradicate systemic racism, chronic unemployment, homophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, hate speech and criminality, exclusion, and homelessness, all of which are sensitive realities that affect the well-being, safety, and mental health of thousands of youth at risk across Canada from all walks of life.

The Foundation focuses on culture, education, innovation, and entrepreneurship among youth. It involves decision-makers from a variety of sectors, creating spaces of opportunity and visibility that offer young people a platform through which to amplify their voices, explore and showcase their talents, and discover and strengthen their leadership, harnessing the power of art to raise awareness, help find and implement solutions, and create change.

For more information, please contact Tara Lapointe at (613) 301-8374  tlapointe@fmjf.ca