“I have a real passion for working with children and youth, especially through artistic expression. A couple of years ago, I teamed up with a group of young women to start an initiative called “The Lil’ Beez Project”. Through storytelling, arts, and crafts, as well as dancing, our project aims to strengthen Black girls’ self-esteem and contribute to their social and academic success.”
Adama is a 35-year-old human rights educator living in Montreal, Quebec. She’s pictured at her favourite park in her local neighbourhood, where she told me, she runs with a mat, some snacks, and a book, every time the weather permits. The outdoors, preferably surrounded by greenery, a body of water and children running around is Adama’s favourite place to find herself as it reminds her of home. She loves reading, storytelling, listening, dancing, and cooking. She told me, “I particularly love doing these activities with children and youth, especially my daughter.” Adama is most proud of finishing her graduate studies, moving towards her career goals, and raising her toddler, all while going through a divorce. She added, “Being raised in an African Muslim household, divorce was not meant to be part of the equation of my life. I was not prepared for this possibility, so needless to say it was a challenge. But with the help of my community, family, and friends I got through it.” The most important thing to Adama is being a part of and nurturing a community. She told me, “I usually roll my eyes every time I hear people share some so-called “African” proverbs, but I have to admit, the one that starts with “It takes a village…” is really dear to my heart. Growing up in Conakry (Guinea) in the 80s and 90s, my parents were not as worried when we stepped out of the house, because they knew that the neighbours would look after us in the same way they looked after their children. And for me, community makes me think of safety, sense of belonging, self-confidence, solidarity, and love.” Adama told me the one thing she knows for sure is that “love is the key to everything. Reading Bell Hooks really helped me understand how welcoming true love, self-love, love of community, and spiritual love into my life could help me through any circumstance.”
What is your favourite quality about yourself?
"I would say my ability to quickly connect with all kinds of people, regardless of their age, gender identity, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. I love sharing and learning from people around me."