Reflection by Akosua Tiwaah Bonsu, Alumna of the Think Big! Lead Now! Young Women’s National Leadership Program and one of Canada’s 100 Accomplished Black Women for 2020
Hi there! My name is Akosua Tiwaah Bonsu. As a first-generation Canadian born to parents from Ghana, I have called Winnipeg, Manitoba home for most of my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts (Adv.) in global political economy and I currently work as a policy analyst with the Government of Manitoba.
I got involved with the YWCA Think Big! Lead Now! Young Women’s National Leadership Program in 2018. The three-day training summit in particular sharpened my public speaking, critical thinking, and leadership skills while giving me a better sense of how I can best empower others. Believe it or not, I still draw on the knowledge and experiences I gained in the program!
I am incredibly humbled to be recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2020. Of several hundred nominations, 100 powerful and trailblazing Black women from across the country were honoured for their social, educational, political, and professional accomplishments. I was nominated based in part on my volunteer work with organizations that support the professional and social development of Black women and girls. My most recent activity in this area is serving as the Director of Programming for the Young Black Professionals Network of Manitoba, where I facilitate networking and personal development events to advance the professional interests of young Black women.
This award was presented to me, but it is dedicated to those who taught me the importance of giving back to your community – most notably my mom. She was – and still is – the embodiment of community engagement, doing everything from volunteering with my elementary school’s lunch program to holding leadership positions on boards. Mom, thank you for showing me the value in helping others and pushing me to be my very best in all I do.