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May 8, 2006
The City of Toronto and CIBC announce the recipients of 2006 Michael “Pinball” Clemons Community Leadership Awards
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and CIBC tonight announced the recipients for the 2006 Michael “Pinball” Clemons Community Leadership Awards, which recognize the contributions of African-Canadians to community leadership in Toronto. This year’s winners, Ms. Ainajugoh Taylor, Mr. Francis Jeffers, Ms. Farhiya Nur and Mr. Jamal Clarke were recognized at a special reception at the CIBC corporate offices.

In 2004, CIBC and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation created these awards to promote visionary leadership in Toronto communities and to recognize the contributions made by individuals of African heritage to the community. The Community Leadership Awards were presented to Ms. Ainajugoh Taylor and Mr. Francis Jeffers for their positive contributions to their neighbourhoods and their demonstrated leadership in advancing community activism and advocacy for the development of the African-Canadian community in Toronto. The Student Awards were presented to Ms. Farhiya Nur and Mr. Jamal Clarke for their positive contributions to their communities as student leaders who help build safe neighbourhoods and strive to achieve personal and community development. The student awards carry a $3,000 scholarship for each of the two winners.

“Each recipient has shown us all new possibilities in the arts, education, community development, as well as in other areas, and each recipient has become a mentor for others who are working in our communities,” commented Toronto Park, Forestry and Recreation General Manager Brenda Librecz.

The awards are named for Michael Clemons, Toronto Argonauts head coach, for his outstanding dedication to community initiatives. “By recognizing individuals for the leadership roles they take on in their communities, CIBC and the City of Toronto are making a real difference in promoting volunteerism among our local heroes,” said Michael Clemons. “Our neighbourhoods need support and nurturing, and inspiring others to lead by example is a great way to build sustainable communities.”

CIBC committed $15,000 over three years to the awards and an additional $12,000 to provide a scholarship of $3,000 for each of the Student Award recipients in 2005 and 2006.

“CIBC has always been supportive of our employees and the work they do to promote inclusiveness. We encourage our employees to participate in advancing diversity in the communities where they live and work,” said Richard Venn, CIBC’s senior executive vice president for Corporate Development and the bank’s National Diversity Champion. “Our goal is to help build strong communities, which will ultimately be highly beneficial both socially and economically.”

For more information about the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Community Leadership Awards, please visit

Media contacts:

Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline

Rob McLeod



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