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Black Canadians' Contributions to Labour

August 6, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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  • CIHR_Henry_Natasha
  • Carol Wall

Join us Thursday, August 6 from 7-8 pm on Zoom for an online conversation between educator and historian Natasha Henry and author and curator Adrienne Shadd. This conversation will be facilitated by labour activist Carol Wall.


We will be live-streaming this event on WAHC's Facebook page on August 6th starting at 7 pm!

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At this crucial moment, with anti-Black racism at the forefront of public discussion and protest, WAHC invites educator and historian Natasha Henry and author and curator Adrienne Shadd to illuminate the often invisible histories of Black Canadian workers. By looking critically at Canada’s own history of African enslavement, Natasha Henry will disrupt the myth of a ‘not-racist’ Canada by highlighting Canada’s anti-Black roots. Adrienne Shadd will discuss the labour contributions of Black workers to the city of Hamilton, and labour activist Carol Wall will facilitate a robust discussion about Canadian labour history that has often excluded the contributions of Black workers.

Natasha Henry is an educator, historian, and curriculum consultant. She is the author of Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (June 2010) and Talking about Freedom: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (January 2012). Natasha is the president of the Ontario Black History Society. Natasha is currently completing a PhD in History at York University, researching the enslavement of Africans in early Ontario and is a 2018 Vanier Scholarship recipient. She is an award-winning author and an award-winning curriculum developer, focusing on Black Canadian experiences. Through her various professional, academic, and community roles, Natasha’s work is grounded in her commitment to research, collect, preserve, and disseminate the histories of Black Canadians.

Adrienne Shadd is a consultant, curator, and author living in Toronto. A descendant of Abraham Doras Shadd, a prominent abolitionist in the 19th century, and Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the first Black woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America, Adrienne is herself a noted historian, specializing in the heritage of African Canadians. She has conducted research for plaques, films, and exhibits, including the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre’s own …and still I rise: a history of African Canadian Workers in Ontario, 1900-present. She is the author, co-author and editor of several books and articles, including the first book on Toronto Black history, The Underground Railroad: Next Stop, Toronto! with Afua Cooper and Karolyn Smardz Frost and The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton. She has also collaborated on two award-winning children’s publications, Freedom, and Early Civilizations of Africa, part of the Sankofa Series, with Rubicon Publishing. She is currently working on a book on Toronto settler and fugitive slave Deborah Brown. 

Carol Wall recently retired as the Regional Director for the Ontario Region with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, where she provided grievance and mediation assistance in numerous disputes in a variety of industries and worked with unions and employers to improve their labour relationships between their bargaining periods.  Previously, Carol was a negotiator with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) until she joined the Service in 2006.  Carol was the first Human Rights Director with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP currently Unifor after CEP merged with Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) in 2013) and previously held positions as a national representative, responsible for negotiating collective agreements, presenting arbitrations, designing, facilitating educational courses, and the like. Carol represented CEP as part of the Canadian Labour Congress Delegation at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Intolerance, Xenophobia and Discrimination in Durban South Africa.

For any questions related to this program, please feel free to email Kat Williams at kat@wahc-museum.ca or Sonali Menezes at sonali@wahc-museum.ca

This event is organized in partnership with our friends at the Hamilton and District Labour Council, and made possible by ATU Local 107, Unifor 5555 and HWETL as well as our public funders and supporters.

51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 1B5       905.522.3003       Public Hours: Click here