Community Leader


Jibs Abitoye, a Nigerian-Canadian politician, is leading the charge for diversity and community engagement in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. As a second-term Councillor, Abitoye’s trailblazing achievements and unwavering commitment to inclusivity have made her a beacon of hope and progress in the city. Her journey, marked by trailblazing achievements and unwavering commitment to diversity, has positioned her as a beacon of hope and progress in the community.

Breaking Barriers

Jibs Abitoye’s election in 2017 was a landmark event. As the first Black woman to be elected in the province of Alberta since the 1970s, she shattered a decades-long barrier, bringing a fresh perspective and renewed vigor to the local government. Her groundbreaking role extends beyond just representation; it underscores the importance of inclusivity and the strength found in diversity.

Jibs Abitoye

Founding the Fort Black Society

Understanding the pivotal role of representation and support within communities of color, Jibs founded the Fort Black Society. This organization is more than just a community group; it is a testament to her dedication to fostering a more inclusive society where diversity is celebrated and valued. Through the Fort Black Society, Jibs has created a platform for dialogue, support, and empowerment for Black residents and other marginalized groups in Fort Saskatchewan.

Championing Key Initiatives

Since stepping into her role as Councillor, Jibs has been a tireless advocate for numerous initiatives that resonate deeply with the needs and aspirations of her constituents:

  • Diversity & Inclusion Policy: Jibs has been instrumental in developing and promoting policies that ensure every resident feels seen, heard, and valued. Her work has laid a strong foundation for a more inclusive community where diversity is woven into the fabric of the city’s identity.
  • Parental Leave for Elected Officials: Recognizing the challenges faced by elected officials who are also parents, Jibs championed the introduction of parental leave policies. This initiative supports work-life balance and encourages more young parents to consider public service without sacrificing their family responsibilities.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Jibs is a vocal advocate for environmental sustainability, pushing for policies that protect and preserve Fort Saskatchewan’s natural beauty for future generations. Her efforts include promoting green initiatives and sustainable practices within the community.
  • Fair Utility Bills: Addressing the practical concerns of residents, Jibs has worked diligently to ensure fair and transparent utility billing. Her efforts aim to ease the financial burden on families and ensure that utility services are both affordable and reliable.

A Versatile Leader

Jibs’ accomplishments extend far beyond her political career. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, a trained economist, a fashion designer, and a realtor. Her diverse skill set and professional experiences enrich her approach to governance and community service, allowing her to tackle issues from multiple perspectives.

Media Recognition and Personal Life

Her impactful work has not gone unnoticed. Jibs has been featured in major Canadian media outlets, highlighting her contributions and the positive changes she has spearheaded. Despite her numerous professional commitments, she remains deeply rooted in her personal life as a wife and mother of three. Balancing her roles with grace, Jibs also dedicates time to volunteer work, further exemplifying her commitment to service and community.

Jibs Abitoye

A Balanced and Impactful Life

Jibs Abitoye’s life and career embody the essence of a balanced and impactful existence. Through her pioneering efforts and dedicated service, she continues to inspire countless individuals within and beyond Fort Saskatchewan. Her story is a powerful reminder that with vision, dedication, and resilience, one can break barriers, foster inclusivity, and make meaningful contributions to society.

As Fort Saskatchewan looks to the future, the leadership and legacy of Jibs Abitoye stand as a testament to what is possible when diversity is embraced and every voice is given a platform.

Lydia Akpocha, a name resonating with purpose and commitment, has dedicated her life to the betterment of communities and the well-being of individuals. Hailing from the Royal families of Idumuje-Unor and Idumuje-Ugboko in Delta State, Nigeria, Lydia embodies a rich heritage and a passion for progress. we take an in-depth look into the life and work of this remarkable economist, certified Scrum Master, counselor, wife, and mother of three, exploring her inspiring contributions and unwavering dedication.

Passions and Contributions

Lydia thrives when she collaborates with others to support and build vibrant, progressive communities. Her extensive efforts extend to support both the government and small businesses, striving for their survival and growth. Her commitment to these causes has left an indelible mark on the communities she serves.

Professional Involvement

Lydia is the founder of two influential organizations: the Canadian Immigrants Alliance and Anioma Women in the Diaspora (Delta Ibo Women International). These organizations work tirelessly to bridge gaps and provide support to newcomers in Canada, especially those from diverse cultural backgrounds. Lydia’s collaborative spirit extends to her work with other not-for-profit organizations and entrepreneurs across Canada, where she consistently champions causes close to her heart.

Canadian Immigrants Alliance

Focus Areas

Lydia’s passion lies in supporting youth, families, and new immigrants through her extensive network. One notable annual effort is her fundraising campaign, which sees grateful immigrants coming together to support various charities, including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Arab Community, Costi, and more. These initiatives aim to facilitate the seamless integration of newcomers into Canadian communities and provide vital support to those in need.

In addition to her work in Canada, Lydia’s heart extends to developing communities worldwide. Her commitment to supporting the less fortunate knows no borders, and she consistently lends a helping hand to uplift those in need.

Lydia Akpocha’s life and work serve as a testament to the power of dedication, collaboration, and community building. From her roots in Nigeria to her impactful presence in Canada, Lydia’s unwavering commitment to progress and support has touched countless lives. As an economist, counselor, and community leader, she continues to inspire us all to make a positive difference in the world. Lydia Akpocha is not just a name; she is a force for change and a beacon of hope for communities far and wide.

Like a phoenix, Ebony King  is rising from the ashes of adversity and inspiring others to do so through her story and Elevate Her Uk.  She is a Youth Advocate, Community Leader, and Youth Mental Health First Aider. British-born, with Nigerian ethnicity. Ebony is the founder of Elevate Her UK, a non-profit organisation that provides support to vulnerable teenage girls and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds, where they are mentored, offered skill-based empowerment workshops and outreach. Ebony was brought up in a broken home as her parents divorced when she was a child. During her teenage years she witnessed various traumatic events which led her to rebel.

Ebony was negatively labelled and eventually got pregnant at 18. There was a huge stigma during that time and being a teenage mother out of wedlock, without a university degree and being from a Nigerian background came with a huge amount of pressure and gossip. However, she managed to stay strong and fought gallantly with the bit of support she could get to make herself a better person. She turned a pain to purpose by supporting other teenage girls and young women battling with the same or similar challenges she had faced.

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Since the establishment of Elevate Her UK, she has been able to raise a fully qualified and trained team who, through their life experiences, provide mental health support, inspiring empowerment workshops and outreach, enhancing entrepreneurship and employability skills in young people.

In 2021, the Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement in Barking and Dagenham, Magaret Mullane, invited Ebony King to discuss how they can make the streets safer together and how she can offer her support to the organisation.

Elevate Her UK
Ebony King

The BSc. Hons Psychology and Counselling studies graduate was nominated Female Volunteer of the Year for Barking and Dagenham Women Empowerment Awards alongside her organisation. This was a milestone achievement for the organisation and Ebony King in person, making them stand out from other non-profits in their local area. Ebony King has gained much recognition from people empowered and politicians in the borough. She is under the Citizens UK Alliance, a people power community organising alliance across the UK. Ebony King also delivers motivational assemblies and youth safety workshops in secondary schools to educate and engage with the youth.

She shares her inspiring story in this exclusive interview with Esther Ijewere.

Childhood Influence

Growing up in a one parent household from the age of 6, being in the middle of a court child contact battle for years and being labelled as a problem child during my teenage years definitely prepared me in various ways for the work that I am doing now. It made me resilient.

Inspiration Behind Elevate Her Uk

Becoming a teenage single mother, growing up fast, engaging in activities I had no business in and witnessing so many traumatising things with a lack of emotional support or recovery; I always told myself that when I am older, and I have the resources I will help other vulnerable girls that were in the same or similar situations as me.

What Motivated Me To Kick Off #Protecther

The #ProtectHer campaign was a much-needed project that had to be put out as soon as possible. The street harassment, violence against women and girls, gang grooming, peer to peer abuse cases in the UK keeps increasing every year. I also spotted things on social media from countries all over the world.

The young girls I support would share certain experiences with me and I was just shocked that these things were still happening. I was even more disgusted when I found out these things were happening in schools and children were not being safeguarded enough. When I was younger my friends and I were harassed by older men so I was able to understand how frustrated my beneficiaries were.

 Elevate Her UK Ebony King

 The Journey So Far

The journey so far has had highs and lows. However, I must say that one of the main challenges was finding out that there are certain organisations in the same field that could see you as a competitor because they have been doing this for a lot longer than you, but they are not getting the attention or recognition that you are getting. They can bad mouth you to sponsors or potential partners, something that I would never do as I keep it professional. My creativity and unique way of doing things is getting Elevate Her UK noticed. I started this organisation with an open and positive mind. I didn’t know that not everyone’s intentions are the same. I’m doing it for genuine passion and my lived experiences. The young people requesting my services and leaving positive feedback is what motivates me to continue helping.

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My Work Getting the Attention Of  A Cabinet Member And Its Impact

My work getting noticed by policy makers was shocking at first because I didn’t even know that the #ProtectHer campaign would be featured on TV or Newspapers let alone for British politicians to share it on their social media platforms and invite me to their office. I was happy because my voice and all the vulnerable girls that I support were finally being heard.

 My Nomination As Female Volunteer Of The Year

For the Barking and Dagenham Council Women’s Empowerment 2022 Awards in March I was nominated as female volunteer of the year and Elevate Her UK was also given a nomination for our work in our local community. This was amazing because prior to this we had only delivered 1 year of frontline work to young people since the pandemic. This showed us that we are making an impact.

Other Projects And Activities

We have a Youth Safety campaign working with Transport for London (TFL) to allow students to feel safer travelling to and from school. This was featured on BBC News recently. We also deliver free skill-based empowerment workshops to young girls teaching them how to do things such as hair, nails, lashes, self-defence, first aid, driving and more. We do this to promote entrepreneurship and improve their employability skills. We are partnered with secondary schools in the UK and Nigeria to deliver youth safety awareness assemblies and one to one mentoring sessions to inspire, motivate and uplift.

Due to my past experience of being a teenage mum in emergency accommodation we often do outreach in mother and baby hostels within the UK and Atlanta, Georgia. We distribute feminine hygiene products and baby wipes and nappies.

Our Partnership With ASDA, Empowerment And Giveaways

In March 2022, women’s empowerment month, Elevate Her partnered with ASDA, a popular supermarket in the community. ASDA provided sanitary towels and feminine hygiene products to give to homeless teenage girls and young women. Also, Elevate Her UK partnered with a few British public figures such as female rappers Ivorian Doll and Br3nya, very much loved by the youths to boost its empowerment workshops. Among the numerous giveaways by Elevate Her UK to disadvantaged and low-income families, in January 2022, we did a school uniform, feminine hygiene products, shoes and goody bags giveaway. The likes of Toyin Abraham, a top Nollywood Producer and star Actress, were present to grace the event financially and physically. We have  been able to organise several empowerment workshops and partnered with various prominent organisations in the UK. The first series of delivery workshops took place immediately after the first lockdown in the UK. It was done in partnership with Future Youth Zone.

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Future Plan

We plan to organise a project to get young people to start thinking more about global warming and climate change and do more things to save the planet, we also want to establish a sister arm in October 2022, Elevate Her Africa, where they would be reaching out to teenage girls and young women in Africa. This will be replicated in the UK. The project is anticipated to kick off in Nigeria being my place of origin. I also anticipate writing a book to motivate teenage girls and young women struggling mentally and emotionally.

Elevate Her UK Ebony

 To Young Women Living Through My Life Experience

Don’t allow anyone’s negative judgement of you, affect your mind-set. Be positive and believe in yourself. If you don’t know what you want to do with yourself go and do some research, you are never too old to learn. Say no to peer pressure, do not copy others, stay in your lane. Listen to your parents and do not rush to be an adult. If you want to live a comfortable life in future , do not be lazy. Refrain from depending on others anybody can let you down at any point no matter how long you’ve known them, prepare for the worst and you will be disappointed less.

 What I  Enjoy Most About My Job

The fact that I can put a smile on young people’s faces especially the ones that lose hope or purpose in life. They can see that in my life I changed negatives to positives, so they are motivated. I like helping people, if I can’t do it directly, I will refer someone else that can help them.

 3 women Who Inspire Me And Why

Firstly my mother’s hardworking drive is a big inspiration to me because as a single mum she actually tried. I have seen her overcome so many things that I do not have the patience or understanding for. Secondly, I am inspired by all women that are able to face reality and pick themselves up from their struggles and change it around to succeed someone like Oprah Winfrey. Lastly, all women that stand up boldly for their rights are also an inspiration to me. It’s not easy going against the norm to fight for what is right.

 To People Who Stigmatize Teenage Moms

Stop judging! Everybody is going through things behind closed doors. Being a teenage parent is not the end of the world as long as they turn their lives around and get back on track. There are many successful teenage parents nowadays, many of them birthed superstars worldwide.   Identify the reason why they got there and find solutions for them. They need support not stigma!

Ebony Women of Rubies

One Thing I Wish To Change In The World

I would remove all the toxic things and judgmental people so that everyone else can focus on what really matters in life, Peace and Happiness.

Being A Woman Of Rubies

The fact that I can make a positive impact on other girls and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Connect with Ebony King;

Twitter- https://twitter.com/elevateheruk

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/elevate.her.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elevateherorg/

Email; help@elevateheruk.org