March 21st is, annually, the United Nations International Day of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It's an opportunity for all Canadians to ensure that the principles of fairness and mutual respect form part of our daily lives.
In collaboration with the Probation Officers' Association of Ontario, the GECDSB to accept copies of the book, They Call Me George: the Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada for the Change Your Future Program at W.F. Herman Academy. The book is a historical work of non-fiction that chronicles the little-known stories of black railway porters — the so-called "Pullmen" of the Canadian rail lines. Drawing on the stories and legends of several of these influential early Black Canadians, this book narrates the history of a very visible, but rarely considered aspect of Black life in railway-age Canada. These porters, who fought against the idea of Canada as White Man's Country, open only to immigrants from Europe, fought for and won greater opportunities and rights.
In October, the POAO also generously hosted a free webinar with the book's author, Cecil Foster. According to Chris Podolinsky,
President of the POAO, “I have read the book myself. This is an important story that needs to be
told. We are delighted to work with the
GECDSB and look forward to hearing more from the Herman students.”
(Pictured, above, left) Principal: Manny Novelletto, Vice Principal: Desreen Burnett, CYF Advisor: Salem Berhane, Chris Podolinsky, President of the Probationary Officers' Association of Ontario, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Youth Justice Service Division and Hassan Adan, former Board Member, Assistant Area Manager Windsor- Leamington Probation/Parole. )