Nova Scotia

Nixon gone from Africville Heritage Trust

The Africville Heritage Trust is looking for a new executive director.

The Africville Heritage Trust is looking for a new executive director.

The non-profit society's chairwoman, Daurene Lewis, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying that Carole Nixon was no longer an employee of the organization.

The statement said that while in June 2011, the trust felt that Nixon was the best person to fulfill the role, that is no longer the case and it will be initiating a search for her replacement as soon as possible. An interim manager will be appointed until the search is complete.

Nixon's hiring made waves in the black community because she is a white woman from out of province. Critics argued that she could not adequately represent Halifax's African-Nova Scotian population.

CBC News learned Tuesday that Nixon had left four jobs over the last 20 years amidst allegations of spending irregularities.

At a meeting Tuesday night, about 200 members of the black community took a unanimous standing vote in favour of replacing her with a qualified, black candidate.

It's not clear if Nixon was fired or quit her job. She told CBC Tuesday, she had no plans to quit and was looking ahead to Sunday's opening of a church museum on the Africville site.

The statement issued by the organization alludes to the board's previously stated conviction that race shouldn't play a role in how it hires.

"The story of Africville is important to everyone who believes in the principles of justice, equality, and the dignity of the human spirit. And those principles know no race," reads the statement.

"The Trust is committed to the principle of merit based hiring, because our mandate requires a unique and extensive skill set.  However, we are conscious that our hiring decisions reflect the project, and that the future is determined by the steps we take today."