Africadian Empowerment Academy

2023 Invisible Champion Award - Nova Scotia/Halifax

Nominator Comments:

The team at the Africadian Empowerment Academy was founded on the principle of giving people of African decent access to education and training to help empower them, and change their lives. The organization works dilligently to provide easy access to programs and services, and they are located in close proximity to the provinces largest African Nova Scotian population in the Preston Townships. In 2020, the AEA (formerly the East Preston Empowerment Academy) worked with Deloitte to release a study on its economic impact the organization has had in the province. The study notes that between 2017 and 2020, the AEA contributed $1.2 m to the GDP, $738k in labour income, and 14 sustained FTE jobs. To learn more please visit the report. AEA works with community to provide access to low-cost and affordable courses in the trades. The programs and services are led-by-and-for Black and African Nova Scotians, fulfilling the promise of “nothing for us, without us.” The board and leadership team are comprised primarily of Black women. The East Preston Empowerment Academy was founded in 2014 by Pastor LeQuita Porter, Wayne Adams, Candace Thomas, and Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard. The program began as a ministry of the East Preston United Baptist Church when Dr. Thomas Bernard and Pastor Porter spoke at a men’s brotherhood event. Dr. Thomas Bernard was asked to speak about her research around Black and African Nova Scotian men’s survival and thrival and the men were extremely engaged. When asked “What is holding you back?”, the majority replied that it was a lack of education or lack of literacy. It was then that Dr. Thomas Bernard and Pastor Porter realized an opportunity was presenting itself and they founded EPEA with the goal of investing in minds and empowering lives through education and training. EPEA has grown over the years to now include 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff and a strong board of directors.

Have you been helped by a human service champion? We would love to hear about it.

Submit your story