Advocate for equality
By Nina Badwal
– February 2022 –
Tatyanna Watts wants to make sure that no one is left behind. She has been volunteering for the St. James Town Community Corner for about a year as a Community Outreach Ambassador. As an African-Canadian, her mission is to connect Black folks to health and social services at the hub.
“I was presented with the opportunity and I was really excited to be able to support The Corner in kind of bridging that gap of resources that some people in the Black community might feel they don’t have especially in the time of COVID where there’s so many different things we need like being vaccinated, being tested – and unless you’re fully aware of where you can get those, you can kind of feel left behind.”
Watts said she took on the role of Community Outreach Ambassador because she liked the idea of helping the Black community find the resources she knew they needed. She has been volunteering in several vaccine pop-up clinics and COVID-19 testing sites as well as the Black Community Wellness Hub, an initiative endorsed by The Corner.
Tatyanna Watts (left) at a youth fall fair in 2021
attended by The Corner.
“We’re supporting people mentally as well, and that’s something that I try to bring to my position as an Ambassador for the Black community – especially because I do know people of color and Black people can sometimes forget that your mental health is also really important.”
A part-time student at George Brown College, Watts’ experience at The Corner has inspired her to think about pursuing social work and psychology in future academic studies.
“One of the ways [volunteering at The Corner] has helped me grow is really understand what access means. It really has opened up my eyes to different perspectives. I was able to meet people from different cultural backgrounds, sexualities and identities, and really understand how everyone’s situation is impacted so differently and kind of understand how access can be given to people in different ways.”
Watts shared her thoughts on Black History Month saying it’s important that we understand Black history, Black stories, Black love, Black growth, Black wins and losses.
“To me it’s really important that we use Black History Month to get Black voices out there but we’re also using it to propel stories year round so that there’s never a moment where we’re not thinking about what people of different cultural and racial backgrounds have gone through to get to where they are today.”
Thank you Tatyanna Watts for sharing your valuable time with us – we appreciate it!