REPORTER, JOURNALIST, HOST, WRITER
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Raine (Lorraine) Williams is an on air TV & Radio News, Entertainment, Reporter, Host and Writer. Born in Ottawa to Jamaican and Trinidadian parents, Raine moved after high school to New York City to pursue her dreams of working in Television. She decided to return and settle in Toronto to attend University and study Politics & Public Administration. The Ryerson University alum landed her first industry job years ago at The Directors Guild of Canada preceded by Alliance-Atlantis film company.
Working for TV & Film Directors and Producers led her to focus on a career in Broadcasting. She now has over ten years of Broadcast industry experience and has reported for Rogers TV, CBC and CKLN FM Radio. Her radiance and charm, passion for journalism in front & behind the camera and her tenacity for story-telling around Toronto's many communities makes her 'conversational' type of style interview pleasantly inviting! Raine is also a self-described Entertainment passionista who over the past few years can be seen interviewing the celebrities during our annual Toronto International Film Festivals. She has interviewed many personalities from Politicians and Actors to not-for-profit organizations and youth award recipients. Raine was also a member of The Women in Film & Television for 5 years, from 2006 to 2011.
A 'Jill of all trades' Raine's experiences don't stop at Broadcasting! In 2010 she joined Toronto Star's media publication Sway Magazine, Canada's largest Black Premier magazine, and created the role of The Advertising Coordinator for the Magazine. She implemented a strategy combining social media, blogging and marketing/promotions which had successful results including landing the magazine's very first ever International Black cosmetic line - Iman Cosmetics from NYC. She also contributed as a Writer for Sway Online.
Raine also believes in the 'gift of giving back' and in volunteering in the Community, hence, she lends her talents to highlight the accomplishments of businesses and individuals in the Caribbean and African Communities. She hosted the red carpet at the 2012 Sickle Cell Prosperity Ball Gala to bring awareness to the public and she was the Media PR Coordinator for the youth inspired Aroni Awards in 2011 and 2012. Outside of journalism, Raine's other passions are marketing, business and blogging; International and Political Women's Organizations; Travelling; Biking anywhere there is a bicycle path (lol) and reading non-Fictional stories! Not to forget, she enjoys hanging out at Starbucks coffee with friends....
Her mantra: “Knowledge is power, passion and priceless! Acquiring knowledge from experiences through higher education, travelling or from mentorship…cherish it, it’s the most valuable gift. No one can ever take your knowledge from you!”
Tell us what many people may not know about you?
Oh wow! I have a few…. I LOVE to sing. When I was young I used to sing in my school and church choirs respectively and for my friends. But my Mother said I didn’t have “a voice for singing”…lol. I always disagreed because my way of singing just wasn’t the type of Jamaican church gospel tone she grew up with and was used to. However, I should have pursued it professionally. I let fear hold me back. I guess I still can go for it!
My other fascination from when I was a child even till today, is International Relations and the idea of establishing African Diaspora corporate companies where we can prosper as not only employers but as CEOs. I have never accepted why we the African Diaspora, cannot establish a Fortune 500 empire for our children? Whether we are living in North America, Europe, Africa or the Caribbean/South Africa why must we face the exact same fate? It’s time for a change! I know I have been hungry for our lost “African Kingdoms” to be restored on this earth. However, we cannot seem to re-establish the control and power of our cultural and historical identity to create vast revenue in order to employ our Diaspora and help all races across the earth. Africa is the richest natural resources continent and yet we as a Diaspora cannot enjoy those benefits! I do not and will not understand why? As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the greatest weapon” so why aren’t we working together globally to build schools, financial, medical and media companies to create a legacy for our youths? I don’t think a single day goes by when I don’t ask myself that?
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
The human spirit and determination are my inspirations. I won’t say necessarily the youth, although they are the future. My inspiration comes from all ages and backgrounds…we can learn something from all ages of people…there is a story to tell, a goal to achieve, a voice to be heard whether the person is in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s etc.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Being a Jill of all trades, implementing confidence and life experiences in everything I do is what has gotten me to this point! If I want it and I think it will be beneficial to my career I simply just go for it! Being confident in my Communication skills is another attribute.
What you should expect from me, well I will be the Red Carpet Co-host on March 8th 2014 at The International Women Awards Event in Toronto. I will also be working creating and producing a ‘Social Talk Show by Sisters’ on all topics. I work in the Media and have a passion for Diversity Reporting. I would like to continue to showcase and highlight the achievements of our African Diaspora whenever I can, social media is very useful in this area.
I am a pusher! I have to push myself and therefore I am more than willing to push others….I can’t give up just yet! As a Woman, society doesn’t favour women who want to push for change, add to that, I am a Canadian-Caribbean Woman, a person of colour….so I definitely have my work cut out for me to continue to highlight the positivity of our African Diaspora to the rest of Canada and the world. One of those changes I would love to help make a reality is, the inclusion of our African Diaspora History (Africa, America, Caribbean & South America) in our Canadian Education Schools, at the Elementary and Secondary levels. Scientists have established that Africans are the oldest race on the earth, we have contributed greatly to this earth and Africa continues to be the richest natural resources Continent. Our story must be told everyday not only once a month, during Black History month. Whatever I can do!
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for creating hope in our Black youths, inspiration in our Black adults, developing and executing a profitable Media organization of which our Black people can be proud, hold dear and thrive financially and spiritually. I would love that to be in the form of a Black Canadian Media power including (TV, Radio, Publishing, Tele-Communications etc).
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
Well, I don’t have my own family as of yet. I have to get on that! In terms of my immediate and distant relatives, they keep me in check and remind me that work is just work and it is not my whole life. I lost my Mother in 2003 and that devastation turned everything into perspective for me. Yes, I sometimes feel I have to accomplish my goals quickly because time is rushed. However, without family & friends - work, rewards, accomplishments etc. are nothing really gained. So travelling to me is time out and well needed! I welcome a stay-vacation too. Getting away to detox from life’s stresses is mandatory in order to continue to have a balanced life.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Favourite Food: Caribbean (Ackee & Salt-fish with dumplings, Calaloo, Fried or boiled dumplings, curry goat, jerk-chicken with rice & peas) dishes are my favourite foods!
Favourite books, I have two: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and The African Origin of Civilization Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop.
Favourite Music: Sade, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, John Legend and Bob Marley
Favourite Movies: Dream Girls, The Constant Gardener, Ben-Hur, To Kill A Mockingbird
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
My experiences as a Black person in Canada have been bittersweet. As a Canadian Black female, I am grateful that I live and was educated in this country. I never once take for granted the freedom of expression and livelihood that I have been fortunate to experience. Canada has given me wonderful opportunities and independence. That said, as a Black Woman I feel that those same opportunities we sometimes receive while living in Canada are bittersweet because there is a ‘glass ceiling’ that we have difficulty passing through! Those opportunities come with barriers that we cannot always knock down. Racism and sexism are sadly still a part of the woven fabrication that is Canada. We rarely, if at all, see ourselves in intermediate or senior levels in the Canadian private or public sectors. Regardless of post-secondary education, years of experience and dedication, excuses are made when promotional opportunities arise to advance us internally. If we are promoted to a high-ranking level, it is common to only see ONE Black person in a particular senior role or at best a Black male and/or female. We still have a long way to go! One solution is for us a Community is to continue to develop and create more and successful self-employment businesses where our Capital can grow so that we can expand and financially employ.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc.
Absolutely! YES, there are a lot of opportunities for us develop talent in Canada! Our drive, ambition and dedication are plentiful and we live in one of the richest and multicultural countries in the world! As a result of our integration with other communities, we have cross-over appeal. The issue is we don’t see ourselves very much outside of Toronto and that is where we need to encourage each other across the nation to not be afraid to show our talent.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
Canadian Leader – Former Political Leader Jean Augustine
Role Model – Former CBC Journalist & Governor General Michaelle Jean; CBC Anchor Nerene Virgin (one of my mentors at CBC); Actress, Director and Reel Film Festival Founder, Tonya Lee Williams.
Artist – Director, Actor, Cle Bennett; Actress, Model, Lana Ogilvie; and Rapper, Singer, Producer Drake
Should & do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
Yes Blacks should support businesses etc. especially in the area of financial. The demise of Sway Magazine and Flow 93.5 FM are examples of a lack of support, equals the loss of sole proprietorship!
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?
Black History is every day! We are a marginalized group and each time we can go out into society and create in a positive manner, an event, organization, employment etc. to inspire and educate our youths – we are branding our legacy! We cannot progress forward without knowing exactly where and when our history on this earth began. Knowledge is our empowerment so that we may never again fall prey to the injustices that were endured by our ancestors. Black History in Canada is just as important as it is in any other country our Diaspora inhabit on the earth. Our Youth, especially our Men, must walk with the education of Black History in tact so that they understand WE are a still ‘wealthy’ race who once lived as Kings and Queens.
Our history involves so many including the famous notables who inspired not only Black people but ALL nationalities….such as Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Harriet Tubman (American & Canadian), President Obama etc. Our literature, music, culture, education, creativity must be told anywhere and everywhere so that our ancestors fight for struggle, equality and liberation were not in vain….have not fallen on deaf ears….never to be forgotten. We have read, listened and heard the voices of our past. We must never forget our Black History it is our birth right, education and legacy unto our youth and the world!
Connect with Raine on Social Media
Website : Raine.Williams Wordpress.com
LinkedIn : ca.linkedin.com/in/rainewilliams/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/RaineWMedia
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Lorraine7755