Dawn Williams: An Open Letter

July 17, 2010

Who's Who in Black Canada book jacket

Frustration Can Be a Powerful Tool for Evoking Change

The idea for Who’s Who in Black Canada, was borne out of my frustration in seeing very few representatives of the various ethno-groups represented in Canada reflected in trade publications and at some public media events. It concerned me that examples of success rarely portrayed those who were from my community.

It’s almost been a decade since I published the first edition of Who’s Who in Black Canada, and four years since the second was released. I wrote two editions to prove a point – that this was not a fluke and that it was very necessary.

It took five years of my life to compile, produce, edit and publish such a comprehensive snapshot of our community’s achievements. I am immensely grateful for the support and encouragement I received from those who bought into this idea and helped to make this “dream” a reality. I remember the many hours of meetings, phone calls, correspondence,fact checking and research that this project required, as this book not only had to be all-encompassing, but accurate. In addition, it had to reflect our contributions in every province and territory, include both official languages and acknowledge, respect and consider our diverse cultures as a people.

But the work is not done. I have been waiting to pass the torch. Over the years, many people have approached me to “do something” with the book. I have always been open to the conversation. But it has not been until now that someone has come forward and followed-up with an actual plan to take Who’s Who in Black Canada to the next level.

Ricardo McRae and Mhairy, with my consent, used the 2nd edition of Who’s Who in Black Canada in a web-based project in 2009. They were heartened by the response and saw the need to continue this project. Since then we have had conversations and discussed their vision for the future of Who’s Who in Black Canada and its possibilities.

Dawn Williams

I was delighted by what I heard and thrilled by their enthusiasm. It is now official and I am both pleased and proud to give my blessings, as you continue this important work. Best of luck.

And I encourage you to support their endeavours on the next leg of Who’s Who in Black Canada’s journey.

Dawn Williams | June 20, 2010

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