The Inequalities of Integration: A History of Space and Race at Graham Creighton High School

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia (10 Cherry Brook Road). Here is the Zoom link to virtually attend this lecture.

Stefanie Slaunwhite is a Ph.D. Candidate at University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. Her current research examines the histories of medicine, education and disability at the Dr. W.F. Robert’s Hospital-School in Saint John, New Brunswick, from 1965-85. Her presentation for the RNSHS is based on her article published in 2022 with Acadiensis, entitled “To hell with the people in Preston: The Inequalities of Integration at Graham Creighton High School, Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia, 1964-1979.” 

Abstract: Graham Creighton High School was a pilot project for integration in the relatively isolated Eastern Shore Area of the County of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The school in Cherry Brook opened as an integrated institution in 1964. It served as the space for students from the surrounding Black and adjacent white communities to be brought together in adherence to the local school board’s integration policy. But while integration was the board’s policy, it was often not implemented in practice.

Jason Bell

Jason Bell, PhD, is a professor of philosophy at the University of New Brunswick. He has served as a Fulbright Professor in Germany (at Winthrop Bell’s alma mater, the University of Göttingen), and has taught at universities in Belgium, the United States and Canada. He was the first scholar granted exclusive access to Winthrop Bell’s classified espionage papers.

Dr. Lynn Jones

Dr. Gladys Lynn Jones (who goes by Lynn) is an African-Canadian woman born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia, later moving to Halifax to pursue higher education. Lynn has been a life-long civil and human rights activist, an educator, a community archivist, community and labour organizer, and an inspiring speaker.

She pursued a long formal working career in the Federal Public Service of Canada. During this time, Lynn became an active trade union member and advocate, and became the first Black person to join the executive ranks of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). She was also a National Vice-President of the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU). As part of the CLC delegation, in 1994, Lynn traveled to South Africa as an election observer in the first free elections (which saw the election of Nelson Mandela). In 1993 Lynn became the first Canadian-born African Canadian women to run in a Canadian Federal Election, as the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the Halifax riding.

Throughout her life, Lynn has been active in the pursuit of justice, working tireless for many causes and organizations that seek to eradicate racism, secure human rights, and achieve fair labour practices. She has been honoured with many awards including the Queen’s Medal, the Congress of Black Women of Canada’s Women of Excellence award, 100 Black Women of Canada Award and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour Human Rights Award. In 2016, she was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate from Acadia University and in 2021 she was awarded a second honorary doctorate from Mount Saint Vincent University.

 Lynn is currently the Chair of the Global African Congress (Nova Scotia Chapter), which seeks reparations for the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and other injustices and whose organization published the ground-breaking book authored by children they engaged called “R is for Reparations, Young activists speak their truth.” Dr Lynn Jones is presently providing leadership in the creation and development of “DownTheMarsh,” one of two Nova Scotian first Community Land Trusts. It is located on “The Marsh,” the historically Black neighbourhood she grew up in in Truro, Nova Scotia. The intent is to reverse a long trend of gentrification that led to an exodus of Black families. The Land Trust will create affordable housing on lots Lynn has held for decades with the intention of putting them to good use for her community.

Another of Lynn’s passions has been the concern of eradicating environmental racism. This is sparked by her awareness that dumps and toxic waste sites are disproportionately located next to African-Canadian and First Nations communities, close to the homes of the economically disadvantaged, socially excluded and the powerless. In 1995, as Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), she pushed for a chapter on this crucial topic in the first – and only – National anti-racism report by unions and their communities in Canada which she co-chaired. She has continued advocating for a stop to environmental racism up to present day and hopes to witness passing of the first law in Canada which addresses environmental racism and justice (presently in the Senate) and which she helped craft its precursor.

She was one of 4 African Nova Scotian women who created a wildly successful fund to support Black families struggling during the pandemic. She is an elder within the African Nova Scotian community and a mentor to many Black women in Nova Scotia and beyond. She is currently involved in multiple activities including the demand for Reparations.

Colin Osmond

Dr. Colin Osmond is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Mount Saint Vincent University in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), and an Assistant Professor of History at the University of British Columbia Okanagan starting July 2023. Colin is a Community-Engaged Historian who works with the Pictou Landing First Nation and the Tla’amin Nation (British Columbia).

Nicole Neatby

Dr. Neatby is a professor in the History Department at Saint Mary’s University where she teaches courses in public history, the history of popular culture, of women and tourism. Her publications have included studies on women’s higher education, student protest movements in Quebec in the 1950s, commemoration and Quebec tourism. Her most recent research interest focuses on the history of popular stage entertainment in Nova Scotia at the turn of the century. She has been actively involved as a public historian having sat on Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee, worked as a consultant for the Canadian Museum of History and served  as the Nova Scotia representative on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Peter L. Twohig

Peter L. Twohig is a social historian of Canada who teaches at Saint Mary’s University. He has recently published an illustrated history of the Public Gardens (Formac 2022), his third book. He is the author of more than thirty peer-reviewed articles in 
scholarly journals such as Canadian Historical ReviewAcadiensisBC StudiesCanadian Bulletin of Medical History, and the Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical SocietyHe was elected to the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2014, received the President’s Award for Research Excellence, Fall 2017, served as the President of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine (2017-2019) and is President-elect for the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing. In 2020 he was the Agnes Dillon Randolph Visiting Professor, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA) and he is leaving in shortly to take up a Visiting Professorship at the University of Virginia.

Brady Paul

Brady Paul is the Indigenous Student Advisor, Masters student at Saint Mary’s University. Brady is a community member of Sitansisk, St Mary’s First Nation, which is 1 of the 8 Wolastoqiyik communities that make up the Wolastoqey Nation (6 communities are in New Brunswick, 1 in Quebec, and 1 in Maine (USA).) Brady’s focus is to aid in the decolonization of education, government, and society by advocating the implantation and protection of Indigenous rights and heritage.

Evan Jennex

Born in Halifax and raised in Aulac, NB, Evan completed his BA in History at Mount Saint Vincent University in 2021 with his Honours Thesis focusing on the history of rent and tenancy in Halifax throughout the 20
th Century. Evan started his Masters in History at Dalhousie in 2021, where he researched postwar Black activism across Canada. Evan has presented at multiple conferences, including the Black People’s History of Canada Symposium. Evan currently lives in Wolfville, NS.