Nzingha Millar wears a lot of hats. The public relations consultant, strategist and community mobilizer is using her communications experience to help strengthen the voices of African Nova Scotians.
“I didn’t start out in communications, I started out in journalism,” Millar says. “I found my way to communications in sort of a zig-zag pattern.
“But what I’d always known is that I want to help underrepresented voices be amplified and to tell those stories, especially in the African Nova Scotian community that I’m a part of.”
Millar currently consults at two Halifax-based PR firms but also contributes her talents to various organizations in the Atlantic region. She works closely with Tribe Network, a hub for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour innovators providing access to a network of advisors and job resources.
She also works with Imhotep’s Legacy Academy, an organization that connects university/college students, faculty and community leaders with students of African heritage in Grades 6-12 for skill-building, tutoring and leadership development.
Recently, she founded her own company, Courage Communications, which provides public relations assistance for Nova Scotian businesses.
“I knew that there were people that had a gap in knowledge and resources of how to reach the media and how to craft a narrative,” she says. “I wanted to help people, coach people on how to tell their own stories.”
Millar is also the co-founder of the ACCE Halifax Network, a non-profit comprised of Black entrepreneurs, artists and community advocates. The aim of ACCE is to strengthen the connection of arts, community, culture and economics for Black Nova Scotians.
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In 2020, she received the Canadian Progress Club (Halifax-Citadel chapter) Young Woman of Distinction award and was the recipient of the Community Leadership and Service Award from the National Congress of Black Women Foundation in 2018.
Millar points to African Nova Scotian innovator Dr. Carrie Best as her inspiration for her work as a community leader in the region.
Best was a journalist, social advocate and the co-founder of The Clarion – Nova Scotia’s second Black newspaper, owned and published by Black Canadians. She also helped to establish the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and received an honorary Doctor of Civil Law from the University of King’s College in 1992 and the Order of Canada in 1974. Millar received the Dr. Carrie Best scholarship from the University of King’s College when she entered their journalism program.
“I definitely stand on her shoulders,” Millar says. “Without trailblazers like Dr. Carrie Best, I really wouldn’t be where I am today.”
This year’s theme for African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia is Through Our Eyes: the Voices of African Nova Scotians. It celebrates the legacy of people of African descent in the development of Canada.
“Here in Canada, and Atlantic Canada, we just have such a strong history of advocacy for the African Nova Scotian community that has helped to inspire the entire country,” Millar says. “I think that Dr. Carrie Best is that trailblazer that really helped us see Black stories through the eyes of Black people which is really connected to this year’s African Heritage Month theme.”
Watch Celebrating Black Excellence every Wednesday in February at 8:20 am (AST) on Global News Morning.