Posted on February 14, 2017 | Filed under:
Woodsworth College is proud to celebrate one of its distinguished alumni: the Hon. Jean Augustine, who was the first black woman to be elected to the House of Commons in 1993. She served as a Liberal member of the House until 2006, representing the riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore in Ontario.
Augustine was a member of Cabinet from 2002 to 2004 serving as Minister of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women. She also served as the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien from 1994 to 1996.
Jean Augustine was born in 1937 in Grenada, but immigrated to Canada in 1960. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts through Woodsworth College in 1973 and went on to complete a Master of Education, also at UofT. After university she worked as an elementary school principal with the Metropolitan Separate School Board in Toronto.
Over her career, Augustine has been engaged in numerous organizations for education and social justice, serving with the National Black Coalition of Canada, the Board of Governors of York University, the Board of Trustees for The Hospital for Sick Children, the Board of Directors of the Donwood Institute, the Board of Harbourfront, and Chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority. She was also named National President of the Congress of Black Women of Canada in 1987.
Augustine was appointed as Member of the Order of Canada in December of 2009 and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Toronto in 1994.
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