My Statement on the 2017 JS Woodsworth Awards

Ms. Peggy Sattler: It is my great honour to rise today to recognize the amazing work that is being done in my community to advance anti-racism, human rights and equity.

 

On Sunday, March 26, the Ontario NDP celebrated the 20th anniversary of the prestigious J.S. Woodsworth Awards. Four of the finalists, including one of the winners, came from London, nominated by me and my colleague the MPP for London–Fanshawe.

Sunday Ajak is an accomplished young man and an inspiring speaker who moved with his family from Sudan 18 years ago to escape civil war.

In 2000, Councillor Harold Usher was the first black Canadian to be elected to London’s city council; he has been one of our strongest champions of inclusion and workplace diversity.

Mojdeh Cox has worked tirelessly to create a more just and equitable society through her advocacy with the labour movement and her involvement in local efforts to end carding.

Finally, Councillor Mohamed Salih has mobilized the community around refugee inclusion, interfaith collaboration and a ban on carding. A winner of the 2015 Black Canadian National Leadership Award, he is the first Sudanese politician to be elected outside of Sudan. It was my great honour to nominate Mo and I am thrilled that he was selected as one of the four award recipients.

The outstanding commitment of leaders like these is supporting London’s efforts to challenge racism and Islamophobia and create a community where everyone feels safe, welcome and able to participate fully.