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MNA Monsef Derraji supports “Beyond February” project with $10,000 Volunteer Support Program grant

The MNA for Nelligan, M. Monsef Derraji supports Overture with the Arts’ “Beyond February” campaign with a grant of $10,000 from the Volunteer Support Program!

Ms. Akilah Newton, Executive Director of Overture with the Arts with Mr. Monsef Derraji, MNA for Nelligan supporting "Beyond February"
Ms. Akilah Newton, Executive Director of Overture with the Arts and Mr. Monsef Derraji, MNA for Nelligan showing support for the "Beyond February" program with a $10,000 grant from the Volunteer Support Program!

After a comprehensive study and a collaboration with Ms. Akilah Newton, Executive Director of Overture with the Arts, Mr. Monsef Derraji, MNA for Nelligan proud announces that he fully supports the inaugural “Beyond February” event in Quebec. The event will take place in November 2021 and will receive a $10,000 monetary contribution from the “Support for Volunteer Action” program. 

While it is important to acknowledge Black History Month during the month of February, it is also essential that we continue to celebrate Black Canadians and promote anti-racism daily, weekly, and monthly, rather than limit it to one month per year. Given the current climate, many officials have expressed the opinion that more needs to be done by way of the creation and reinforcement of more concrete measures being put in place to eradicate anti-black racism in all its forms. Overture with the Arts’ “Beyond February” campaign is a perfect example of one such initiative. 

Indeed, Ms. Akilah Newton is taking concrete action through her organization Overture with the arts by launching the first "Beyond February" event in Quebec and Canada. Today, it is more important than ever to mobilize communities to end injustices in order to prevent future generations from experiencing the same inequity and stigmatization. What could be better than starting with awareness and education from an early age?

"I am proud that this project is the initiative of an organization from our beautiful riding of Nelligan and will take root here. It is time to change things, and it is with this kind of action that we will have sustainable results and reflection every day of the year so that the generations to come, in all its components, have equal opportunities. I am proud to support “Beyond February’’ under the leadership of Ms. Newton, a person that I respect and who stood out this year both during Black History Month, as well as International Women's Day" - Mr. Monsef Derraji, Member of the National Assembly for Nelligan.

“It's nice to see schools adopt Black History Month in February, but conversations about Black history, anti-racism and the Black Lives Matter movement must go beyond February. Black history is Canadian History and should be embraced year round. Beyond February will encourage teachers and students to continue to learn about Canadian Black History and the inspirational Black Canadians who helped shape this country." - Ms. Akilah Newton, Founder and Executive Director of Overture with the Arts.

About Black History Month: In Black History Month, we honour the tremendous contributions that Black people have made and continue to make in all sectors of our society. It is about celebrating resilience, innovation and determination in order to further assert the notion that everyone should have an equal opportunity to thrive. 

Overture with the Arts: Non-profit organization offering training in music, dance, theater and singing. Their free and low-cost programs allow young people to pursue their passion in the performing arts when they would not otherwise be able to afford classes. OWTA helps children find a creative outlet to express themselves and builds confidence and balance. Since 2009, around 65,000 young people have benefited from their after-school programs and school presentations. 

Source: Riding office of Nelligan

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