Black History Month Week 1

Black History Month 2021- Profile

Week 1 Profile- Wednesday Feb 3rd 2021- Jean Augustine

If our young people don’t have pride in themselves, pride in their race, and pride in those who have come before them, it is very hard for them to carry on” – (Augustine, TVO interview, 2016)

Each week in February 2021, Cupe 2195’s Racialized Workers Caucus will profile an influential Black Canadian with the hope of inspiring the Local’s members in their pursuit of social justice.

Although it is impossible to fully encapsulate Black Canadians’ accomplishments in one month, it is important to intentionally reflect upon their history and contributions, which are too often omitted from mainstream Canadian discourse. This week’s honouree is Dr. Jean Augustine, a trailblazing politician who spearheaded the recognition of February as Black History Month in Canada.

With humble beginnings in Grenada, her Honourable Jean Augustine became an influential Black Canadian politician, educator, and activist focusing on youth and women’s rights and improving immigrant working conditions. Among her many accolades, Dr. Augustine is the first Black woman elected to Parliament (1993) and the first Black woman appointed to the Federal cabinet (2002). She was the Secretary to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Minister of Multiculturalism and the Status of Women, and Ontario’s first-ever Fairness Commissioner. Not least among her achievements, Dr. Augustine is a devoted mother and grandmother.

For more on Dr. Augustine’s life and accomplishments, check out the links below:


100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women 2018 Paperback – Sept. 20 2018

by Hon. Jean Augustine Dr. (Author)



  1. In what year was Black History month first recognized nationally?

  2. In 1946, who refused to leave the whites-only section at the Roseland Theatre in Nova Scotia?

Reminder: The first 2 people to send the correct answers to Email will win a gift card.