For far too long, the contributions made to this Island’s heritage by the Black community were ignored. Tamara Steele has worked hard to correct that.
Steele has fought for the rights of Black Islanders and sought to promote Black cultures, Black achievements, and Black excellence. She has done an immense amount of work to bring attention to issues important to Black Islanders and to make the Island a better place to live for all people of colour. She has fought this uphill battle with grace, strength, and courage.
As Executive Director of the Black Cultural Society of PEI, Steele has led the growth of aa small community organization into a thriving and still-growing not-for-profit serving the Black community and highlighting their contributions. Steele and the Black Cultural Society now organize a wide range of cultural activities during Black History Month, celebrating Black cultures and providing learning opportunities for the wider P.E.I. community.
Steele was also instrumental in bringing the Black Lives Matter movement to PEI, helping organize a rally in Charlottetown in the summer of 2020. Steele has also contributed her time and insights as a board member for several cultural organizations, including the Women’s Network PEI and Art in the Open, and is a past board member for Music PEI, Island Fringe Festival, and ACT (a community theatre). As well, she’s been active in the music community, and after working in arts administration for 13 years, she curated Collective Intricacies, an exhibition of Black artists’ work that was hosted at the Eptek Centre in the summer of 2022.
For her continuing efforts to improve the lives of Black Islanders, Tamara Steele is receiving a Heritage Recognition Award.