6:30 p.m., Aug. 25)
Friends and family gather in Blackburn Park to celebrate
the legacy of Dapo Agoro
By Fred Sherwin
hard to believe that it's been 14 years since Blackburn
Hamlet teen Dapo Agoro was stabbed to death while trying
to break up a fight at a downtown dance club.
Agoro enjoys some cotton candy with her daughter
Omolara during the 14th annual Dapo Fun Day
in Blackburn Hamlet. Seyi Malcolm/Photo
he was still alive today, Dapo would be 32 years old.
Unfortunately, he was the victim of an all too frequent
attack involving a knife.
same summer he was killed, his family organized the first
ever Dapo Fun Day to celebrate his life and to promote
non-violent conflict resolution, particularly among teens.
A year later they formed the Dapo Agoro Foundation for
Peace and the two events have been synonomous ever since.
Aug. 20, close to 100 family and friends gathered in the
Blackburn Park for the 14th annual Dapo Fun Day, and although
the weather was perfect and a good time was had by all,
the message of peace and non-violent conflict resolution
was an undeniable, underlying theme. In fact, this year's
Fun Day T-shirts were a take on the phrase Keep Calm and
Carry On, but instead of Keep Calm and Carry On, they
read Keep Calm and Keep The Peace. Other T-shrits sported
Dapo's graduation portrait with the phrase "Together
we can make an impact on youth violence".
lots of great food, the event featured live entertainment,
a dunk tank, face-painting, cotton candy and a few friendly
the centre of all the activities were Dapo's parents,
Abiola and Bashir Agoro, and his sisters Shola and Moji
who are carrying on Dapo's legacy along with young people
like this year's Dapo Agoro Memorial Award For Peace recipient
Katie Xavier from Lester B. Pearson High School.
MP Andrew Leslie was also on hand to deliver a message
from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to everyone in attendance
in the form of a letter.
commend you for supporting this worthy cause. Your contributions
help strengthen the community and create a better future
for us all," wrote the PM. "On behalf of the
Government of Canada, I offer my best wishes for an enjoyable
day and for every success in meeting your fundraising
Dapo Agoro Foundation for Peace was launched to promote
non-violent conflict resolution amoung the youth in our
community, and to raise awareness over the growing issue
of knife violence among young people.
the fact that assaults and deaths involving knives are
on the rise, the courts still treat knife crime less harshly
than crimes commited with firearms. The Agoro family and
their supporters feel this needs to change and they've
been lobbying provincial and federal politicians to stengthen
the laws and sentencing for criminals who use knives in
the commission of a crime.
in the 14 years since Dapo's death, there has been very
little movement towards change. The Agoros, however, remain
unswayed and continue to raise awareness wherever and
whenever they can.
Dapo Fun Day is held every year on the third Saturday
by Seyi Okuribido-Malcolm...
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)