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Celebrating Black History Month in New Tec: Meet youth leader and motivational speaker Joy Foster

February 10, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Joy Foster is a name many people in New Tecumseth already know.

She is a youth activist, singer, recording artist, television talk show and podcast host, and motivational speaker. She also happens to be Black.

During Black History Month, The Times had the great privilege of speaking with Joy to better understand her life work and contributions to New Tecumseth, while honouring her own Black history.

An Alliston resident, Joy is the founder of Kimberlite Enterprises. She is also a loving wife and mother, with family origins from Jamaica via London, England.

Joy moved to New Tecumseth in April of 1989 from the Greater Toronto Area, and reflects on her time in the community, and herpersonal challenges and as it concerns race.

“Generally speaking, my experience is that the community has not been overly supportive of local ideas and developments,” said Foster. “I have run into instances where racism was not right in your face but the underlying current was very strong. Other than what I have already stated, any benefit due to race is the result of racism. Any benefit for a business should not be based on one’s race but instead of the merits of the business.”

When asked what she was most proud of regarding the Black community, Joy said, “Michael Jackson said it so well, ‘I have never wanted to spend my life being a colour!’ but [rather] to be introduced by the name my parents gave me on the day I was born. My background is varied – it is a composite of many cultures and because of that I am more open and accepting of all cultures. You fight racist beliefs by education in the ways of the world.”

As for family traditions, Joy says she ensures they live on through her son, Michael, and through the telling of stories – be it written or in video. 

“The promotion of this [should be] within our school system too – broadly looking at culture instead of focusing on Black and White issues,” said Joy.

To increase cultural sensitivity in New Tecumseth, Joy says people should broaden their interests, learn about other cultures, and experience them, specifically through food.

“We have a good array of restaurants representing culture within their cuisines in New Tec – after all, food is the basis of all culture,” said Joy, who also said the Town could benefit from a cultural festival with the food of different cultures represented.

During Black History Month, we asked Joy to reflect on the Black leaders from history that she considers her inspirations and mentors.

“My mentors are the following: Dr. Martin Luther King he was epitome of a man who stood by each and every word throughout his mission with no apology,” Joy said. “Also, my parents, who taught me respect for all humanity with morals and integrity.”

In New Tecumseth Joy herself has had many achievements, including the successful operation of her business, Kimberlite Enterprises, for more than a decade.

“I have had great success working with and promoting the success and development of our youth,” said Joy. “Most recently, this is has culminated in the rebranding of the television show ‘Unwritten – Stories of Significance’. This show is now reaching youth around the world bringing their unique perspective in dealing with matters that impact the youth globally. We live in a world not only a community!”

Going forward, Joy says her focus will remain on the development of local youth, as she feels that is the quickest way to make corrections and facilitate change for the better.

As we celebrate Black History Month, Joy reminds us it is equally important to, “talk about all cultures for a healthy community and world”, and that our “actions speaks louder than words!”

For more information about Joy Foster or Kimberlite Enterprises please visit www.kimberlite.ca, follow her on Instagram @kimberlite_enterprises or search her on YouTube at youtu.be/Zz8YvF3_gMw.

By Wendy Gabrek



         


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