Gracia Kasoki Katahwa: Pioneering Black Woman Mayor Joins Montreal Executive Committee

Gracia Kasoki Katahwa, the pioneering first Black woman mayor of Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, has recently assumed new responsibilities as a member of Montreal’s executive committee, coinciding with the onset of Black History Month. Her expanded role encompasses overseeing human resources, spearheading the fight against racism, and acting as an associate advisor for Indigenous reconciliation.

Katahwa’s journey into politics commenced in 2021, underpinned by her unwavering dedication to enhancing public health and addressing community needs at the municipal level. Prior to her political endeavors, Katahwa’s professional trajectory was significantly influenced by her tenure at the Jewish General Hospital (JGH), where she cultivated her skills as a nurse.

Embracing the ethos of nursing leadership and patient advocacy at the JGH, Katahwa credits her experiences there with equipping her for the mayoral role. The seamless convergence of her roles as a nurse and mayor underscores the shared values of empathy, active listening, and collaborative problem-solving inherent in both healthcare and political service.

In a recent Facebook message, Katahwa expressed gratitude for her appointment and reflected on the significance of Black History Month. She acknowledged the sacrifices of those who came before her, paving the way for a young Black woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo to participate in the highest levels of decision-making within her adopted city.

Katahwa’s historic election victory resonated widely, transcending Montreal’s borders and earning acclaim from notable figures, including Canada’s ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her ascendancy symbolizes progress and inclusivity, inspiring diverse communities worldwide.

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