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Celebrate Black History Month with the Honourable Jean Augustine

In honour of Black History Month, CBC Toronto is partnering with Dr Jean Augustine.

The first Black woman elected to The Parliament of Canada has dedicated her life to equity in education

The Honourable Jean Augustine ( Lawrence Kerr Photography)

This year in honour of Black History Month, CBC Toronto is partnering with Dr Jean Augustine. In 1995, Dr. Jean Augustine single-handedly championed the unanimous vote to officially designate February as Black History Month in Canada. 

25 years later, she continues to dedicate her life to addressing the systemic barriers and racial inequalities that persist in the Canadian education system with the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University. 

Former Prime Ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin with Dr Jean Augustine (Submitted by Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University)

Established in 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair directs and engages in research, educational programs and community partnerships supporting Black and other racialized communities. As one of only two endowed university Chairs in Canada dedicated to the research and knowledge of Black and African-descended communities, the organization actively addresses social justice issues and uncovers research opportunities to drive policy change for generations to come.

Dr Jean Augustine being sworn in as Minister of Multiculturalism and the Status of Women, 2002 (Submitted by Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University)

Dr. Augustine has raised $1.8M in support of education, mental health, and legal research linked to the Black community and assists with funding for scholarships, workshops and programming for Black youth. 

For more information about the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University, visit the website here. 

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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