Black History Month annual dinner/dance fundraiser inaugurated in 2017 as a spectacular opportunity to showcase Black History and the positive contributions made by black people each and every day in the Niagara Community. ABEAN seeks to promote opportunities for open dialogue and personal interactions between cultures. These conversations and interactions can lead to a better appreciation of the shared daily challenges all of us face as we try to make a positive contribution to family and our community. It is a celebration of black men and women who advocate for excellence in every sphere of their lives. The Award is presented to either a man or a woman who has overcome exceptional challenge(s) and demonstrated extraordinary resolve throughout. The award recognizes a number of key challenges that the nominee has undertaken, moved forward and ultimately achieved success. It also recognizes the various ways the individual is advocating for excellence and the positive contributions they are making to the Niagara community.
All the proceeds from the fundraiser go towards the Wilma Morrison Scholarship Fund (A scholarship named after Ms Wilma Morrison in honor and recognition of her efforts to preserve black history and secure recognition for the contributions of blacks to The Region’s development for more than 40 years). The scholarship is awarded to a student who is enrolled into an institution of higher learning, who has demonstrated academic achievement, community involvement, demonstrated leadership skills and financial need. ABEAN is a key platform for mentorship for black youth by the nominees. These men and women will become the positive role models that black children need to see. It’s far, far easier for a child to believe the lies and be discouraged from a challenging path if there is no evidence out there to disprove what the culture is telling them. As Ben Carson says; ‘Our children need to see and hear about more black role models in many fields so they can make better choices’