Six participants will be researching and sharing Black experiences in Canadian churches.

Image: collage of six photos of young Black people who will be researching Black experiences in Canadian churches
Top row (left to right): Jonisha Lewinson, Brianna Lane, Noah Janosch Brown. Bottom row (left to right): Sifa Zahinda, Amelia Brohman, Andrew Johnson.
Credit: Courtesy of the participants
Published On: March 9, 2021

The Young Black Scholarship Program project, part of the United Church’s commitment to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent, started on March 1.

Six young Black participants affiliated with United Church communities of faith will be researching various aspects of Black experiences in Canadian churches as part of a learning community. The research part of the project will run from March to June, 2021. Then, from September to December, communities of faith are welcome to host one-hour interactive online presentations of findings from their research.

Please meet the project participants:

  • Jonisha Lewinson grew up in North Bramalea United Church after moving to Canada with her family when she was younger. She is currently a second-year student at Sheridan College studying Creative Writing and Publishing, and loves it. Jonisha also enjoys digital drawing, singing, and learning Japanese.
  • Brianna Lane is a member of Trinity United Church in Cobourg, Ontario. She is currently a fourth-year student studying Environmental Biology at the University of Toronto. She enjoys hiking, watching movies, and learning languages. Brianna looks forward to gaining a deeper understanding of historical research, connecting with the Black Christian community, and helping share this narrative.
  • Noah Janosch Brown first became acquainted with the United Church community when Roncesvalles United Church opened their doors to him to produce artworks in their basement. He moved to New York to study fine art at the Cooper Union until the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently working on a pop album with a high school friend. Currently, Noah’s favourite hobby is writing pop songs and researching human social behaviours.
  • Sifa Zahinda has been attending Emmanuel United Church. She is currently studying at Algonquin College as a police foundation student. Sifa likes cooking and baking, playing guitar, hiking, dancing, and playing soccer and basketball.
  • Amelia Brohman is I am a member of Emmanuel United Church in Ottawa. She has been a correctional officer for three years. Amelia’s favourite hobbies include watching reality TV and hanging out with friends/loved ones over good drinks and food.
  • Andrew Johnson was involved with the Winchester United Pastoral Charge during his childhood. From there, he took interest in studying Theatre Arts, which led to completing studies in Media and Communications and TV Broadcasting. Andrew has continued to use his creative skills, performance arts abilities, and psychologically minded work throughout his education and career. He is interested in the entertainment field, mental health advocacy, and social issues.

Welcome to all six!

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