Take a Lesson

Measha Brueggergosman is a Canadian born, Grammy-nominated Opera singer, whose voice was heard by more than three billion viewers at the opening of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. In 2007, Ms. Brueggergosman became the Goodwill Ambassador for the African Medical & Research Foundation, a charity working for Better Health in Africa, and shared her voice as a form of musical therapy for children.

Salome Bey was “Canada’s First Lady of the Blues,” Ms. Bey wrote and starred in Indigo, a Dora Award-winning history of the blues, and was part of the all-star lineup of Canadian singers who produced the charity single “Tears Are not Enough,” She was also inducted as an honorary member of the Order of Canada in 2005, and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.


Dudley Laws was a Canadian civil rights activist and co-founder and executive director of the Black Action Defence Committee. In 1990, Mr. Laws called on then Premier Bob Rae to establish an independent body to investigate police shootings after the shooting death of Lester Donaldson (a Black man with mental health issues) during a confrontation. The Special Investigations Unit, which looks at all police shootings in Ontario, was formed in the wake of the Donaldson killing.

B. Denham Jolly is a Black pioneer in Canada’s radio broadcasting industry, launching Canada’s first Black-owned radio station in 2001. Mr. Jolly also founded the Black Business and Professional Association and the Harry Jerome Awards, and he spoke out on social justice issues as a member of the Black Action Defence Committee. On November 27, 2020, Mr. Jolly was appointed to the Order of Canada.

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, born in 1925 in Montreal, was a jazz pianist preeminent in technical brilliance. Dubbed “the Maharaja of the keyboard,” Oscar began playing the piano at the age of five and formed his first trio at 22.  He has won eight Grammy awards and his music is loved all over the world. 

Beatrice Massop was the first immigrant Black nurse allowed acceptance and entrance in Canada from the West Indies, arriving December 15, 1953, from Jamaica.

Even though Miss Massop had secured a job as a registered nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital, the Canadian Government denied her entry. It would take 14 months to get that overturned.

Adisa Oji lead, and was the Key Organizer for the Protests against The Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibit “In the heart of Africa”
The protest politicized the ROM’s racist practices.
As a result, museums worldwide are now forced to engage communities with regard to their cultural exhibits.

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