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Hon. Jean Augustine presented with Unifor’s Nelson Mandela Award

August 17, 2018

HALIFAX—Renowned advocate for social justice Jean Augustine is the recipient of the 2018 Nelson Mandela Award, presented today at Unifor’s Canada Council in Halifax.

“I’m excited to recognize the Honourable Jean Augustine for her important contributions in the struggle for human rights,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Canada is a better place because of activists like Ms. Augustine.”

Jean Augustine is a former federal Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. In 1993, Ms. Augustine was the first black woman elected to Canadian Parliament and has been a steadfast defender of women’s rights, youth rights, and the rights of black communities. It was her motion in the House of Commons that has led to the official recognition of February as Black History Month in Canada.

Her work as a politician, educator and social activist has resulted in the improvement of rights for racialized, low income, and migrant people. She is a steadfast defender of the rights of women and girls and her presence within her own communities has not only made them a better place, but her time in both provincial and federal government has made the world a better place.

The Nelson Mandela Award is named in honour of Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa from 1994-1999 and anti-apartheid revolutionary. This award recognizes the struggle, courage and achievement of Mandela in fighting against apartheid and in advancing human rights and social justice. Recipients are commended for having made a significant contribution in the area of advancing human rights and social justice.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Director Natalie Clancy: or (902) 478-9238 (cell).