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February 22, 2024

Black History Month Spotlight: “My heritage is my identity. Without that, there would be no me.”

Marion Lewis, a proud Woman of Black heritage and the Executive Assistant to LifeLabs’ President and CEO, Charles Brown, opens up about her identity and heritage with LifeLabs as we celebrate Black History Month.

Photo of Marion Lewis, Executive Assistant at LifeLabs

Marion Lewis, Executive Assistant at LifeLabs


“I identify as a Woman who is Black, and my pronouns are She/Her,” Marion proudly states, embodying the essence of her identity.

Marion’s story begins on the vibrant shores of Barbados, where she was born and raised alongside her two siblings. Relocating to Winnipeg at a young age due to her parent’s divorce, Marion was raised by resilient black women who instilled unwavering values of pride and resilience. “My mother and grandmother instilled strict Christian and moral values in us at a young age. We were taught to stand up for what we believed in and to always be proud of who we are and where we came from.” Marion reflects on her upbringing, which shaped her into who she is today. “I met my husband, Andrew (Drew), in Winnipeg when I was 12 years old. We started dating in Grade 8, and we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this year!” Marion happily tells us that when she and Drew graduated, they were asked where they would be in 5-10 years, and it was unanimous by all their friends that they would be married. “We now have two children, Andrew Jr. and Shontelle, and four lovely granddaughters, Gabriella (10), Gianna (6), Trinity (4), and Makenzie (3). They are definitely the shining light in our lives.”

As an executive assistant, Marion is a pillar of support and a representation of diversity and inclusion within LifeLabs. “My identity is very important to me because it tells me who I am and reminds me of the individuals who came before that sacrificed their identities and lives so that we are where we are today,” Being proud of her roots is an understatement, Marion cherishes the diversity within her culture. “Our heritage is one of diversity, even within our own culture and one that is not easily recognized or accepted; however, my heritage is my identity. So, without that, there would be no me.”

When addressing misconceptions about the Black community, Marion advocates for understanding and acceptance. “Black leaders are usually labelled as radical or controversial because they are viewed as a threat to society based on their beliefs,” Marion says. She is not shy about urging a shift in perspective.

Photo of Marion with colleagues at LifeLabs Microbiology Food & Fashion event

Marion with colleagues at LifeLabs Microbiology Food & Fashion event


For Marion, building an inclusive culture means amplifying voices and fostering trust. “An inclusive culture for the Black community means having a seat at the table and having their voices heard. For our other counterparts to really take the time to listen to what is being said and not always how it may be communicated.” Marion emphasizes the importance of transparency and engagement within organizations. “It’s important to be transparent, such as hiring/promotion practices. Building trust in its employees also increases engagement and a definite sense of belonging.”

Beyond the walls of LifeLabs, she invests in her community through active involvement in her church and volunteering at food banks.

Marion’s parting words of wisdom for the next generation of aspiring Black professionals: “Surround yourself with like-minded individuals or mentors. Listen to your inner voice when making decisions on potential opportunities, both personal and professional, because that voice is the truth that will guide you to your success.”



LifeLabs’ is grateful and inspired by our team members for sharing their stories. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) journey at LifeLabs is to ensure that all individuals feel accepted, respected and valued.

By fostering an equitable and inclusive culture for the team members, customers, and partners, our collective community benefits from understanding the unique perspectives and experiences.  The journey to reinforce DEI commitments has demonstrated that at LifeLabs, we are indeed Stronger Together.


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