Community Leaders Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion In Kingston

Kingston, Ontario – April 7, 2023 – Kingston Economic Development, St. Lawrence College and Kingston Immigration Partnership hosted the Building Inclusive Communities event that brought together community leaders to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in Kingston and celebrate the contributions of exceptional newcomers to the community. 

“We’re so pleased to be part of this event and to support increasing diversity and inclusion in Kingston,” said Glenn Vollebregt, St. Lawrence College President and CEO. “We are committed to our value of Belonging at SLC, and believe honesty, inclusivity, and accountability are the pathways to success. Our community continues to work to learn, help, and grow the ways we embrace and increase diversity and a feeling of belonging for everyone.”

The panel discussion explored the meaning of community and belonging and how communities can support diversity through access to services, products, and programs. The panelists shared their insights and experiences, highlighting the importance of inclusivity in building strong and vibrant communities. The event was followed by the presentation of the 2023 Newcomer Entrepreneur Awards, which recognized exceptional newcomers who have established their businesses in Kingston and made an impact on the community.

The panelists included Andrea Sampson, CEO and Founder of Efe Magazine and Lead Instructor of the Texture with Confidence Program; Tianna Edwards, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Coordinator for Yellow House, the Centre for Inclusion; Lindsey Pilon, Programs Associate at Kingston Indigenous Languages Nest, Outdoor Educator at Kingston Forest & Nature School, Inclusion Coach at KEYS Inclusion Charter Team; and Muhammad Ahsan, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager at The City of Kingston.

“Recognizing and celebrating the visionary work, efforts and contributions of newcomers to Kingston is critical to accelerating their impact and fostering economic growth and development. Their contributions are not only essential to sustaining all aspects of life in our community, but also vital to creating a more vibrant and dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem that benefits us all,” said Norman Musengimana, Business Development Manager – Start-ups & Entrepreneurship, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

The 2023 Newcomer Entrepreneur Awards were presented to three outstanding individuals, including for their exceptional contributions to Kingston’s economy and community. The winners of the 2023 New Entrepreneur Awards are:

  • Newcomer Startup of the Year: Rizma Butt and Hakeem Subair, 1 Million Teachers
  • Community Builder: Brian Dodo, BM Strategic Design
  • Inspirational Newcomer: Gökhan Cifci, Tango Nuevo and Mayla Concept
  • Inclusive Community Builder: St. Lawrence College

For more information on the Kingston Newcomer Entrepreneur Awards visit –

Media Contact
Nour Mazloum
Marketing & Communications Manager
Kingston Economic Development Corporation