By John Rieti
Alexandria Montague is a young black community activist — but don’t get hung up on her race.
“Not only am I black, I’m a Hamiltonian. I’m a Canadian. I’m a woman. I’m so many other things that I identify myself as,” Montague said.
What the 16-year-old Sir Thomas More student wants is for you to get to know her as an individual by going beyond any preconceptions you might have.
- Black hairdresser Donna Small on embracing race and history
- Coun. Matthew Green on what Black History Month means to him
“I believe that a lot of people see the skin colour as a generalization of who that person might be instead of taking the time to get to know that person on a one-on-one basis,” Montague said.
“People just need to take the time to understand other people.”
The person you’ll meet is remarkable. At school, she’s part of a social justice club called Utopia and also a photographer for the yearbook. Outside of class, she’s started a charity called Sisters 4 Sisters with her older sister, Ashleigh.
Montague says Sisters 4 Sisters first event will be a brunch fundraiser on March 21 to raise money for the Native Women’s Centre.
When asked why she chose to raise money for the group, Montague is quick to cite Lincoln Alexander’s goal — one she said she strives to live her life by — of standing up for all victims of injustice.
That compassion and confidence has impressed teachers and community leaders alike.
Hamilton organizer Evelyn Myrie calls her a “firebrand” and a young woman to watch in the coming years.
Sharon Boase, the Sir Thomas More’s chaplain who was present for the interview, tells Montague she’d make a tremendous journalist or politician in the future.
For now, she’s still a student focused on her classes before heading off to university (she’s set on Ryerson).