The Ontario Black History Society's (OBHS) Annual Black History Month Kick-off Brunch on Sunday January 31 was a huge success. The event was sold-out in advance to the tune of 600 tickets.
The afternoon was full of inspiring speakers, including a keynote address from the Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine, who received the Mary Matilda Winslow Award for Advocacy in Public Education. Other speakers included Kevin R. Junor, the first Black Regimental Sergeant for the Toronto Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Armed forces; Toronto Mayor, John Tory; Ontario NDP Leader, Andrea Horwath; and Dr. Akua Benjamin of Ryerson University.
Congratulations to OHS Bulletin columnists Barry Penhale and Jane Gibson
OHS Bulletin columnists Barry Penhale and Jane Gibson received the OBHS Harriet Tubman Award for Commitment to a Purpose. Jane and Barry have long been identified with racial equality and human rights causes.
As a journalist, publisher, and former broadcaster, Barry Penhale's involvement in social justice issues led him to focus on both the struggles and achievements of people of colour. Barry encouraged the careers of numerous Canadian singers, dancers, and musicians who found many doors closed, due to their skin colour. At the invitation of Dr. Daniel Hill, Barry was privileged to participate in an official commission concerning hiring practices of the time that limited work opportunities on Canadian television for performers of colour.
Jane Gibson began teaching in Hamilton in 1958, and later in the Township of York. By the mid-1960s she was working in CIDA-sponsored teacher-education programs in Montserrat and later at Bethlehem Teacher's College in Jamaica, an experience that had a profound effect on her life. Upon her return to the Toronto area, she joined the East York Board of Education and by 1975 became responsible for the History/Geography/Social Studies curricula. Later, when she became Community Services Coordinator, Black Heritage programs brought her into joyful contact with Veronica Sullivan an a young Afua Cooper. An early member of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Jane was also involved with OMAMO, headed by Dr. Keith Lowe.
Now living in Grey County, Barry and Jane continue to actively support the Emancipation Day festivities held annually in Owen Sound, the Northern Terminus of the Underground Railroad.
(text taken from OBHS Brunch program)
Congratulations Nikki Clarke, the New OBHS President
The OBHS has recenlty elected a new President! Join us in welcoming Nikki Clarke, and thanking Rosemary Sadlier for her many years of service to the OBHS.
Nikki Clarke is Jamaican born, and holds many degrees. A graduate from McGill University, she earned a degree in Film and Communications where she received formal media training for print, television, radio. A gifted television personality, Nikki is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. Her accolades are many and she been awarded numerous awards to include African Canadian Women’s Achievement Award for her work in the community and excellence in teaching. Her most recent award is the BBPA Woman of Honour Award.
(text taken from OBHS press release)
On Sunday, Nikki emphasized that some of her goals included developing better programming to engage the French-speaking and Spanish-speaking Black communities in Ontario. She is also looking forward to engaging a wider youth audience across the province.
We are very pleased to announce that long-time OHS member and volunteer, John Rae, has recently received the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s (AODA) 10th Anniversary Champion Award. This one-time award recognizes outstanding individuals who demonstrate leadership, passion, and commitment in the promotion of accessibility and inclusiveness in their community. Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam presented John with his award during a ceremony in the Members Lounge of City Council on November 26, 2015.
Greetings friends and colleagues,
The Ontario Historical Society would like to inform you that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) is pursuing the development of a Culture Strategy for Ontario. The Ministry’s objective is to establish a vision for culture across the province, and they want to know which aspects of Ontario’s culture are valuable to you and your community.