The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine became the first Black woman elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1993. As an energetic advocate of social justice, she worked as a teacher, vice-principal and principal at many elementary schools in Toronto before entering federal politics.
She has supported and engaged in numerous organizations involved with education and social justice, serving with the National Black Coalition of Canada, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR), the Board of Governors of York University, the Board of Trustees for The Hospital for Sick Children, the Board of Directors of the Donwood Institute, the Board of Harbourfront, and Chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority. She was also National President of the Congress of Black Women of Canada .
Among her many accomplishments as a Member of Parliament, was her introduction of a motion to have February proclaimed as Black History Month in Canada.
In 2009, the Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada (CM) . In 2012, she was inducted as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE ) for her academic achievements and invaluable contribution towards politics, education, women’s rights and multiculturalism.
Hon. Jean Augustine has received Honourary doctorates from seven universities across Canada. Dr. Augustine's journey is inspiring – from her humble beginnings in Happy Hill, Grenada to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. Her tireless journey continues through her work at the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women's Empowerment in south Etobicoke helping and uplifting girls and young women to achieve success through leadership skills to create social change.