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HRM African Nova Scotian Affairs Appoints its First Manager

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 (Halifax, NS) - Halifax Regional Municipality has appointed Ms. Sylvia Parris to the position of Manager, African Nova Scotian Affairs Integration Office, under HRM’s Government Relations and External Affairs Office. Through her expertise and guidance, Ms. Parris will be influential in establishing the requirements, responsibilities and overall direction to HRM that will support African Nova Scotian communities across the region.

Ms. Parris is coming to HRM on a one-year leave, with the potential for one additional year, from the provincial Department of Education where she provided leadership for the integration of equity and diversity within the department and school boards across the province. She is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and Mount Saint Vincent University. During her work in the private sector she has assisted institutions such as the Nova Scotia Community College, implementing organizational structures to meet the needs of marginalized communities. She has served on the HRM Community and Race Relations Advisory Committee and is on the executive of the Black Business Community Investment Fund Board of Directors. Ms. Parris is currently president of the Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children which operates the Akoma Family Centre.

 “It’s an honour to be working with HRM leadership as they move forward with establishing the structural framework that will enhance the relationships with the African Nova Scotian communities,” said Ms. Parris. “I look forward to working with Council and the people at HRM to develop the necessary structures, programs and policies to improve service delivery.”

In February, 2010, an agreement was reached between the municipality and the Africville Genealogy Society. Part of that agreement included establishing an African Nova Scotian Affairs function within HRM. Mayor Peter Kelly, on behalf of Regional Council and HRM, apologized for the loss of Africville in the 1960s and presented the terms of an agreement at that time.

 “Ms. Parris brings with her a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience,” said Mayor Kelly. “Her role will strengthen relationships and promote partnerships by helping HRM managers and Council capitalize on opportunities for a review of current practices as they relate to interacting with African Nova Scotian communities, leading to the development of a solid framework for future decision-making.”

Ms. Parris will provide leadership, strategic direction and policy advice to all parts of the organization to strengthen the delivery of municipal services to residents and communities of African descent in HRM.



Mayor Peter Kelly

Michaelyn Thompson
HRM Communications




Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.