Local businessman and community member Jimmy Hassan was awarded the second annual Community Builder Award on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
The award, presented by the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area, recognizes Hassan’s efforts to promote and celebrate diversity in our community, and his work to inspire civic engagement of all people, regardless of age, race, or background.
“I’m incredibly honoured to be receiving the Community Builder Award in recognition of the importance of creating true change and awareness around the need for diversity in our community,” said Hassan. “We all share a responsibility to make our city and our country better for everyone, and to do this we must value the importance of recognizing how diversity strengthens our community.”
An immigrant from Pakistan, Hassan moved to Kingston in 2003. He has since become a successful business owner, and a pillar of the community known for work ethic, generosity, and community building activities.
In 2016, Hassan founded and hosted the Diversity Dinner, an annual multicultural event that invites a wide range of people from diverse communities in Kingston to come together to share a meal, learn about each other’s cultures, create friendships, and celebrate similarities and differences.
Hassan also hosts a regular talk show on the local cable TV channel called Community Voices with Jimmy Hassan, which addresses broader socio-political issues in our community.
He is the founder and director of Canadian Colours Kingston Foundation, an organization that aims to create a community that understands, embraces and respects everyone’s cultural, religious, and ethnic beliefs as fellow Canadians.
Hassan also ran for City Council in the last municipal election and encourages all people, especially youth, to get involved in their community. For the past two years, he has organized the Red Rose Project in collaboration with Martha’s Table, which provides meals on Valentine’s Day for those who may not otherwise have someone to share the day with.
Over the past few years, Hassan has served as a member of the Donors Advisory Committee at the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF) (2015-2017), is the Social Coordinator of the Islamic Society of Kingston from 2017 to 2018, and was the Secretary of the Pakistan Canada Association of Kingston from 2015 to 2016.
His support for UHKF, both personally and through the Pizza Pizza Slices for Smiles program, has raised funds in support of the pediatric department of Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital. His support touches many other organizations in the Kingston community whether religious, cultural, ethical, or community based, as well as local school activities.
“The Community Builder Award recognizes individuals who bring people together with the power of their determination and ability to work hard and inspire others into action, all while making a positive difference in the communities they live and work in,” said Tina Bailey, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Jimmy Hassan works tirelessly to create change and to lead by example, and we are thrilled to recognize him with this award.”
Hassan accepted the Community Builder award in front of a full house at the award ceremony on Thursday, May 23, 2019. Included in his acceptance remarks were these words of gratitude:
“My sincere thanks on behalf of my family and me to the directors, volunteers, employees, and donors of the foundation. I truly admire the work you do and the positive change it makes in our community.”