QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s) has been selected as a recipient of the Making a Difference Award (MADA), a Commffest Film and Arts Festival award that recognizes community leaders, creative artists, and activists whose work champions social good and community change.
“Ontario is filled with inspiring people who are dedicated to community service,” said Andrew. “I am honoured to be recognized among an exceptional group of people who all make our province a better place to call home. I am proud to spend every day advocating for equity in gender, race, and social justice, both inside and out of Queen’s Park.”
Andrew has represented Toronto-St. Paul’s as MPP since 2018 and is the critic for Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, Heritage, and Culture. She is the first Queer Black person to be elected to a legislature in Canada and is a member of the first Ontario Black Caucus in the history of Ontario’s legislature. She is a leading advocate for social and economic justice, tackling systemic inequity in health care, education, and the affordable housing crisis.
In the community, Dr Andrew, Ph.D. is a published author, award-winning journalist, teacher, education worker, and co-founder of Body Confidence Canada, an organization supporting body diversity and human rights. Andrew received a Lifetime Advocacy Award from the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention and the Former Senator Nancy Ruth Award for her commitment to gender equity. She had the 2022 Viola Desmond Alumni Award named after her and was named one of Post City MagazineT.O.’s 21 Most Inspirational Women of 2021. Andrew has been a long-time advocate of the positive impact of the arts, especially in organizations that support the talent and stories of marginalized communities.
“Arts and culture are vital for the health and well-being for our communities and collective mental health,” said Andrew. “It’s my pleasure to support and attend the Commffest Film and Arts festival this year and support an important community initiative.”
This year’s Commffest Film and Arts Festival is being held at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and will pay tribute to the U.S. and Canada’s shared history of Jazz and R&B.