Durham celebrates Black History Month

Courtesy of Durham Regional Police Services Photo credit: Courtesy of Durham Regional Police Services

Three prominent black women will be telling their story as Durham Regional Police Services kicks off Black History Month on Tuesday.

Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Camille Dundas and Kike Ojo-Thompson will have a panel discussion on the topic, “My Story, Our Story: History in the Making.”

Caesar-Chavannes is the former Whitby Liberal member of parliament decided to leave politics after a public clash with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

She is a supporter of mental health initiatives and was also named Chatelaine Magazine’s Woman of the Year in 2019.

Dundas is editor-in-chief at an award-winning online magazine, ByBlacks.com, which aims to help the Black Canadian community live better lives.

Ojo-Thompson is the recipient of the Lincoln M. Alexander Community Award for extraordinary leadership in eliminating racial discrimination in Ontario. She gives voice to issues surrounding child welfare service to African Canadian families in Ontario.

There will be a special tribute to Viola Desmond, whose family lives in Durham and will be in attendance to represent her.

In 1946, Desmond refused to leave a whites-only area of a theatre and helped start a civil rights movement in Canada.

She is the first Canadian-born woman to appear alone on Canadian currency.

Desmond is featured on the award-winning $10 bill.

Durham’s chief of police, Paul Martin, and Durham Regional chair, John Henry, will be in attendance.

The event is put on by Durham Regional Police Services, the Region of Durham, the Ontario Black History Society, the Canadian Jamaican Club of Oshawa and DurhamONE.

This event is sold out. It takes place on Jan. 28, from 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Region of Durham Headquarters, 605 Rossland Rd. E. in Whitby.