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Defenders for Human Rights
Rosemary Sadlier

Rosemary Sadlier Human Dignity

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GRADE LEVELS = 7 to 12  /  SUGGESTED TIME = Three 60 minute class periods

Rosemary Sadlier was the president of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) from 1993 to 2015. As president, she contributed to the recognition of Black history through education, research and outreach programs. Rosemary’s pressure was central to the Canadian government’s 1995 decision to make the celebration of Black History Month a national annual event.

Rosemary was born and raised in Toronto, and she has degrees in teaching and social work. Her roots in Canada reach back to pre-Confederation: her mother’s family can be traced to 1840, while her father’s ancestors arrived in New Brunswick in 1793.

Along with the 1995 establishment of National Black History Month, in that same year Sadlier also initiated the formal celebration of August 1st as Emancipation Day, which is still being sought nationally. For Rosemary, such events have helped and will continue to help Canadian students and teachers to recognize the contributions of Black people in Canada. Rosemary has presented nationally and internationally – including to the United Nations – on the subjects of Black Canadian history, curricula, and anti-racism. She has also researched and written prolifically about Black history and Black Canadian history.

Rosemary has received several honours and awards including the Order of Ontario, the William Peyton Hubbard Race Relations Award, Women for PACE Award, the Black Links Award, the Planet Africa Marcus Garvey Award and the Harry Jerome Award. Most recently, she was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award from the International Women Achievers’ Awards.