Jean Augustine

Jean Augustine

Jean Augustine made history as the first Black Woman elected to Canada’s Parliament, serving from 1993-2006. Her roles included Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Minister for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Deputy Speaker.

Her legislative successes include both the historic Black History Month Motion, and the “Famous Five” Motion to honour women’s suffrage.

From 2007 to 2015, she was Ontario’s first-ever Fairness Commissioner.

In 2008, the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora was launched at York University to help advance education, equity and inclusiveness.

Today, also in her name are a Girls' Leadership Academy in Scarborough; a Centre for Young Women's Empowerment and municipal park in Etobicoke; a Secondary School in Brampton, and a multi-purpose complex and district park in Vaughan.

She is a member of the Order of Canada and Commander of the Order of the British Empire; holds honourary doctorates from the universities of McGill, Toronto, York, Windsor, Waterloo, Guelph, and Trent; and supports scholarships at Centennial College, George Brown, and Humber College.

"We must show up and be counted alongside today’s champions. We must stand up in the face of transgression and injustice. We must speak up on important matters that could use another healthy voice."

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