Educator / Community Creator & Founder / Opportunities Broker, 3Dreads and a Baldhead, Ottawa, ON. Born: Ottawa, ON.
Adrienne Coddett is a high school educator who has become a respected local leader and mentor, through her significant contribution to Ottawa’s youth population in general, and Black youth specifically. She has created and organized an annual Black Youth Conference Day during Black History Month where she provides a forum for Black youth expression and cultural exploration.
Adrienne has performed groundbreaking work raising awareness amongst youth on the global impact of HIV/AIDS. She also galvanizes Ottawa’s Black youth communities to be active on a worldwide scale by participating in the annual International Black Youth Summit.
As a seasoned high school basketball coach and co-founder of the Ottawa Phoenix boys competitive basketball team, Adrienne has helped develop many young men into some of Canada’s best basketball players, using basketball as a transformative agent in their lives.
Adrienne is also well known in Ottawa as co-host of Black on Black, a public affairs radio show which broadcasts every Saturday morning on the University of Ottawa’s radio station, CHUO 89.1 FM. Black on Black has been a fixture on CHUO’s Saturday line-up for the past 17 years, and is a source of information on and about Ottawa’s Black community.
Her organization, 3Dreads and a Baldhead (founded in 2000), provides opportunities for people in Black communities to transform their lives by maximizing their physical, mental, spiritual, and economic potential. 3Dreads and a Baldhead has several programs/initiatives: Be More Academy, the Black Youth Conference Day, BlackYouthaPalooza, Young Sisters Bookclub, “An Evening with…” Literary Series, Sisterhood Anthology, CIBC Run for the Cure Team, Sisterhood Walking and Social Club, and Ottawa Phoenix Basketball.
Honours: Named “Community Builder of the Year” by the Leadership Ottawa cohort (2008); nominated for the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction award (2005); Community Foundation of Ottawa’s Investing in People Award winner, a reverse grant in support of people in the community who have shown imagination and leadership in addressing issues and opportunities (2005).
Favourite book? I am an avid reader so my favourite book is hard to pick, but I like to read a variety of things that go from academically-grounded classics that help me explore my legacy, and history as a person of African descent like, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney. Staying with the land of my parents birth, I would also choose, They Came Before Columbus by Ivan Van Sertima; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, or The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley; Waiting in Vain by Colin Channer, or The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Soldier.
Favourite quote? “Poverty will make you lie.” – Abdul Aziz (at the 2004 International Black Summit in Elmina, Ghana)
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? My life has been a collision of experiences that, in those moments, had me believe certain things and make certain judgments about what I did and didn’t do. When I step back and really look, I have lived a blessed life and I have been able to do everything I set out to do even when the results didn’t look like I had imagined them. But, I know there is more. I know I can do more and Be More. I want to be able to create dynamic opportunities that service the needs of people in Black communities! Black youth (collectively) who have been in my influence over the past 15 years, have been my greatest source of inspiration. They make me want to be better. And the worlds they create make the most sense to me. I want to be in their space and energy always.
What inspires you? Renewed energy that never dies!
Why do you do what you do? Because someone did it for me!