NIKKY CLARKE - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
MEDIA INSTRUCTOR / TV PERSONALITY / SOCIALPRENEUR / SINGER
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com )
Jamaican born, Nikki Clarke, holds a Diploma in Social Sciences from John Abbott College and at, McGill University, earned a degree in Film and Communications where she received formal media training for print, television, radio. Nikki also earned an Honours Diploma from Sheridan College in Early Childhood Education. Gifted with acquiring languages, Nikki is fluent in English, French , and Spanish. Nikki was an instructor at Sheridan College, in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education and the School of Business from 1999 to 2009.
In 2006, Nikki started the company, Bead 4 Health , for which she designs and handcrafts organic jewelry for men and women and distributes them online through Bead4HealthBoutique.com. Self-taught, Nikki began her creating designs for fun. Her pieces quickly got the attention of friends and coworkers who began placing custom orders for her work. Nikki experiments with wood, semi-precious stones, magnets, and freshwater pearls. Nikki’s designs have been featured in Planet Africa, Rogers Television, the Ethnic Umbrella ,Bless Magazine, Kurves Modelling and Talent 2009 Calendar ,2009/2010 Mr. International Caribbean Calendar and featured on ETALK. Nikki’s peices are available for purchase at various festivals, Etsy, Orangefish, and www.bead4healthboutique.com.
In 2007, Nikki joined the team of the Ethnic Umbrella, Canada’s most diverse community newspaper, as a columnist and public relations manager. In August 2008,Nikki was the recipient of the African Canadian Women’s Achievement Award for her work in the community and excellence in teaching.
Nikki founded internet tv/radio show AND THE BEAT GOES ON in 2008 and the same year started her Publicity/Public Relations Company ,Nikki Clarke Inc. Nikki is also publisher and author of her first design book, Bead 4 Health Collective Volume One, which was sold at various Chapters/Indigo/Coles Stores. The Nikki Clarke Show was launched October 2012 and can be viewed on Youtube , new online tv network, www.nikkiclarkenetwork.com , and Rogers TV Toronto in 2014! Nikki started her Clarke Media Arts program in 2013 offering production and broadcasting training for at risk youth.
Nikki joined forces with Canadian Music Week, March 2013 , to create an urban showcase, the first of its kind in many years, The Nikki Clarke Show CMW Urban Showcase at Rasputin Vodka Bar and hosted the second showcase May 7, 2014 at the Clave Social.
In June 2013, Nikki hosted the anniversary party of the Ontario Black History Society at Daniel Spectrum in Toronto. In July 2013, Nikki hosted the International Fuller Woman Expo at Yonge and Dundas Square.She is also a motivational speaker for a number of community events such as the Toronto Reference Library Citizenship Affirmation Ceremony, OBHS Leaders of Toronto Conference, October 2013.She has also spoken at York Civic Centre hosted by MP Mike Sullivan and MoMondays Toronto and Brampton.
In August 2013, Nikki was profiled by the Canadian Small Business Women association as the business woman of the month. Nikki was nominated in March 2014 for Woman on Fire, Media Award. Nikki is also a singer/songwriter working on the release of her singles, ” You Got Me” and ” Habit”. Her music is described a organic blend of soul and reggae. Nikki’s single ” You Got Me” is being remixed by Freestyle Chulo and soon to be released Spring 2014.
Tell us what many people may not know about you?
I used to collect rocks, paint them, look the name, and label them in boxes.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
I'm inspired by my faith and relationship with God. I try my best to live my life with integrity and love for others. I'm also inspired by my 3 children who give me the drive to work hard to leave a legacy for them.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
Hard work , resilience, and tenacity has gotten me where I am now. There is a lot more to do. I plan on expanding the Nikki Clarke Show programming globally, releasing my single " Habit" , and spearheading community initiatives to support youth.
What would you like to be remembered for?
My good heart and creativity.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
It took me a while to figure it all out but I have created a work hard-play hard system . Part of freeing up my time, was learning to prioritize and to assert myself by saying no.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
I love Jamaican, Japanese, and Italian food.
Book: Book of Negroes- Lawrence Hill
Music: Billie Holiday, Bob Marley, Erykah Badu, Diana Ross, James Brown
Movie: Blazing Saddles
What's your experience as a Black person in Canada?
When my family arrived in Montreal , Quebec in 1970 from Jamaica it was a culture shock. We moved into an all French neighborhood. I had to quickly learn a new language and a new culture. As the only black family on the block, it was hard. The racism was open but I perservered. I excelled in school as the only black girl in most of my classes. My success academically was my revenge. It still is. I use my integrity , hard work to accomplish all that I have . Breaking new , positive grounds is my fight against racism.
Are there as many opportunities for Blacks in Canada that can produce role models and institutions like Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Obama, BET, etc:
I think there are ways that many Canadians can CREATE opportunities for them to be role models as their American counterparts. The opportunities will not be handed to them. It will take vision and determination.
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Leaders, Artists and Role Models?
Lincoln Alexander, Maestro Fresh Wes, Rosemary Sadlier, Drake, Herb Carnegie, my parents, Peter and Patricia Clarke, Harriet Tubman
Should and do Blacks support / patronize black music, events and businesses?
Yes they should and do. Its vital for the black community to support one another's businesses. We need to lift each other up to grow and flourish.
What’s your understanding of Black History in Canada?
Between 1840 and 1860, thousands of Black Americans risked their lives to escape slavery through the Underground Railroad to Canada. In the 70's , Pierre Trudeau created an immigration policy that allowed West Indians like my parents to come to Canada to start a new life for their families. From the 80's to present day, blacks from all the over globe now call Canada home. I'm proud to be part of that history.
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