The Royal Commonwealth Society, Toronto Branch in partnership with the Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada is celebrating Emancipation Day with their global partners. The first weekend of August is observed as Emancipation Day and known to many as Civic Holiday. It is the day slavery was abolished in most of the British Empire.
As part of this year’s activities, the Royal Commonwealth Society, Toronto Branch and its partners will on Sunday, August 2, 2020 hold an extraordinary online observance of Emancipation Day which will include a discussion by a panel of distinguished speakers.
It is the United Nations (UN) International Decade for People of African Descent and the online programming initiative was, in part triggered by the unanimous advocacy of 54 African nations in the UN seeking discussion on anti-Black racism.
The esteemed panelists will discuss and make their submissions on the significance of Emancipation Day and on the ongoing quest for equity in addition to diversity and inclusion in our contemporary society.
The panelists will include Ghana’s Chris Koney, Group Head, Corporate Affairs of the Media General Group and former Head of Communications, Royal Commonwealth Society Africa; Peter Meincka, Chair RCS Canada; Rosemary Sadlier, Chair RCS Toronto; Blackson Bayewumi, Chair RCS Nigeria; Geran Fearon, President, Brock University; and are Jill Andrew, MPP, Toronto – ST. Paul.
Other panelists are Gaverne Bennett, Author and Editor; Keren Campbell, Vice President of Elementary Educators; Dr. Maurice Bygrave, Dentist and Co – Founder, Caribana; Winston W LaRose, Executive Director, Jane Finch, Concerned Citizens Organization (JFCCO), Toronto; and Tiki Mercury-Clarke, who history will record as one of the all-time greatest Canadian jazz artists.
In addition, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Elizabeth Dowdeswell is confirmed to make a brief statement.
According to Rosemary Sadlier, the Chair of RCS Toronto, there is an initiative to have August 1st marked nationally in Canada and as the proponents of this initiative, a first advocacy of the RCS in over 43 years, they are thrilled to commemorate this with our global partners, allies and supporters.
“Previously, while I was representing another organization, I had been able to secure municipal and provincial designations for August 1, beginning in 1995, which were celebrated with annual Emancipation Day receptions at Queen’s Park at Toronto, Ontario with all parties supporting,” she added.