A Nova Scotia anti-violence activist who has made it his mission to end gun violence has been nominated for an award that’s been won by some elite company.
Quentrel Provo, the founder and CEO of Stop the Violence, Spread the Love, has been nominated for the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), Under 40, Global 100 List. The organization is recognized by the United Nations and “identifies high achievers of African descent in public and private sectors.”
In a phone interview with Global News Wednesday night, Provo said he learned of his nomination on Friday.
“I just read and was kind of like, ‘What’s this?’” Provo laughed. “I didn’t think it was this big, then I looked at the past list and I was in shock.”
And that past list is impressive. Just last year, P.K. Subban, Chance the Rapper, Colin Kaepernick, Kendrick Lamar, French Montana and Charlize Theron — to name a few — all received the award.
Provo believes that just to be in the same conversation with some of his own idols is an honour in itself.
“It’s amazing,” Provo said. “But as great as it is, my greatest reward with Stop the Violence is changing lives and affecting lives that way.”
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Provo has organized several peace walks in Halifax over the years, most notably in April 2016 following a string of gun violence in the municipality.
He was notified of the nomination via email, but is unsure of who or where his submission originated. Regardless, Provo says he’ll most certainly be forever grateful.
“When I started this, it was just a march … and then it just evolved. I wanted to do more in the community to try and bring people together,” he said.
“To just be nominated and to be on this list would be an amazing accomplishment in itself.”
Provo also received widespread recognition in February 2018, when he rallied to create an opportunity for 200 black youth to see and experience ‘Black Panther.’ He says the plan is to continue to give back to his community through more Stop the Violence rallies and public speaking, as well as at an upcoming youth leadership gala.
For Provo, as long as he can continue to change lives for the better, that’s all the recognition he needs.
“For someone to come and tell me that I’ve changed their life or I’ve impacted their life in such a positive way, those are the rewards that money can’t buy.”