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Community Builders: Dr. Warren Clarke and Daljit Nirman

By United Way East Ontario on February 1, 2022

While COVID-19 continues to change the ways we gather, celebrate, and honour one another, it has not changed the way our neighbours step up to support each other in times of crisis.

United Way East Ontario kicked off 2022 by recognizing eight more incredible community builders who have worked tirelessly to make our communities safer, healthier, and more resilient. These people are community leaders and fearless advocates who have stepped up and demonstrated a local love that has not gone unnoticed. All this week on Apt613, you can read about these eight amazing individuals and organizations. Today: Dr. Warren Clarke and Daljit Nirman.

Dr. Warren Clarke. Photo provided.

Dr. Warren Clarke is the founder of The Afro-Caribbean Mentorship program (ACMP) at Carleton University. This mentorship program helps graduate and undergraduate students in racialized communities build confidence within themselves and provide mentorship opportunities so that they can strive towards their educational and professional goals.

Dr. Clarke’s leadership in diversity and inclusion is impressive and has touched many young African, Caribbean, and Black men’s lives throughout their schooling. During his mentoring and financial literacy work, he brings in professionals within the Ottawa community to ensure these students are getting enrichment throughout the program.

“I don’t do this work for the attention you know, I do this work because I believe in it.” — Dr. Warren Clarke

Dr. Warren Clarke has held multiple ACMP initiatives such as More Than Networking events where more than 150 students, faculty, and community members attend to showcase the importance of networking. These networking events are important to ACMP because they help to break down the barriers that African, Caribbean, Black and other racialized students face during their post-secondary education. He also brings high school students to these events to show them the university world and encourage them to strive towards their goals.

Dr. Clarke also understands the unique barriers that young Black men face, so he implemented a series of Barbershop Talks to create a safe space for Black community members to meet and encourage men to foster better communication skills. He also led a Black History month event in partnership with RBC. Dr. Clarke has been awarded the inaugural Hurst Legacy Award for his dedication to community work and academic pursuits. As an advocate, facilitator and mentor, Dr. Clarke uplifts his community.

Daljit Nirman. Photo provided.

Daljit Nirman is a lawyer and president of Nirman’s Law Professional Corporation and has experience as a sessional lecturer. His law practice areas include Canadian immigration, human rights, and corporate and property laws.

Daljit weaves volunteering into every aspect of his life, and now has more than 15 years of volunteer experience. He is the founder and co-chair of the board of directors for Cooking Up Community Services. This federal not-for-profit organization is a free breakfast used to raise awareness and funds for charities in Eastern Ontario. Daljit always puts others before himself.

 “I am fortunate that I am being recognized because there are people I have seen during this journey who are going above and beyond their motivations and involvement. My contribution honestly feels like a tip of the iceberg.” — Daljit Nirman

He offers his time, legal advice, expertise, and resources to a multitude of organizations and charities across Ottawa, such as the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Ontario Association of Police Services Boards, The Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa, Ottawa Sikh Society, and so many others. He has been a long-time supporter of Project STEP, Ottawa’s award-winning community response to address the need for support, treatment, education, and prevention of youth addictions.

Recently, Daljit was inducted into the Order of Ottawa by Mayor Jim Watson, in recognition of his support and initiative in the community. He has also received other awards and accomplishments such as the Ottawa Sikh Society’s Community Service Award, and certification of recognition as one of the key members in organizing the 18th National Diwali. Daljit has a giving heart, and it truly shows in the community.

Know someone doing great work in their community? Nominate a Community Builder today.