Black in Halifax: Kardeisha Provo on sharing her North Preston community with the world
The 17-year-old high-school athlete and volunteer created a YouTube channel to give people in North Preston a way to promote and share their stories.
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Kardeisha Provo is proud of her North Preston community and wants to share its accomplishments with the world.
The 17-year-old high-school athlete and volunteer created a YouTube channel earlier this year to give community members a way to promote and share their stories in their own voices.
“I wanted to showcase that there is good that comes out of North Preston and there is good in North Preston, and I wanted community members to feel involved in the process and to know that what they’re doing doesn’t go unnoticed by the rest of us,” Provo said.
“I felt the need was there because we were continuing to look down on ourselves, based on how other people look at us. I found that it was important to try to find a way to shift that a little bit, shift our minds.”
It didn’t take long for her idea to take off and inspire others.
“I think it has been like a little spark of inspiration in terms of the things that we produce ourselves. Everyone is in that kind of mindset, producing things and doing things. There are documentaries coming out from our community right now and music and all of that,” she said.
“We are beginning to value ourselves and know that when people put bad things out in the papers about us, we know now to be critical of it.... I see now that my community has been challenging the way that other people view us.”
Provo can usually be found volunteering wherever and whenever she’s needed in the community.
Among the many initiatives Provo makes time for: an after-school youth program run out of her older sister LaNeia Reddick’s North Preston basement. She’s grateful her sister is funding the initiative and guiding her and the other youth participants.
“It has been going so good.... This is a place we want to eventually turn into a centre, but we’re starting here right now. There are about 20 youth that come every Tuesday,” she explained.
“We do youth programing basically on whatever they want. It’s been neat to grow with them and be a space in the community for them to come and be whoever they want to be. We don’t have time restrictions and we talk about a lot of things.”
Provo graduates from high school this June and plans to study medicine in the U.S. But she will come back.
“I like the idea of branching out and exploring the world and bringing it all back to my community and to where my world first started,” she said.
Provo doesn’t see herself as extraordinary, pointing out there are many “incredible and talented” young people in her community.
“I’m not this special teen or person. I’m regular like everyone else. I just like to talk and speak up and share how I feel, and I know a lot of other people feel those ways too,” she said.
“There are a lot of quiet leaders, a lot of people that I see daily who lead quietly. As a whole, we are continuing to see the value of who we are, and not even just Nova Scotia but the Black experience in North America in general. There’s lots of hope.”
This story is part of Metro's ongoing Black in Halifax series. Let us know your thoughts on the series, and share your own stories using the hashtag #HalifaxWhileBlack with tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook comments. We may just share it in a future edition.