She's a veteran educator!
A Toronto educator is making history as the first Black president elected to a teacher's union in Ontario, The Star reports.
Karen Brown is no stranger to education, holding an undergraduate degree from Brock University in Child Studies and a master's of education in adaptive instruction and special education from the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She began her teaching career with the Toronto District School Board in 1993. Nearly three decades later, she has a wellspring of experience under her belt and is a registered early childhood educator.
Brown served as vice-president of the Elementary Teacher's of Toronto from 2003 to 2012, operating in several capacities, including chief negotiator, grievance officer, benefits coordinator, and strike team coordinator. She is a member of the Canadian Labour Congress' Women's Advisory Committee, a governor with the Ontario Teacher's Federation, a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. She has served with the Canadian Alliance of Black Educators. She is also the founder of Single Mothers Inspiring Leadership in Education (SMILE) which champions change in the education system for women and girls. In 2017, she was named one of Canada's 100 Most Accomplished Black Women.
In 2009, Brown was elected to the Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario (ETFO). By 2015, she had become vice-president of the union. The ETFO recently announced that Brown had been elected as president, making history as the first Black president elected to a teacher's union in Ontario.
"[Brown is] the first Black president to be elected to a provincial teacher affiliate union in Ontario and the first known Black president to be elected to a provincial teacher affiliate union in Canada," a union statement said.
As newly elected president, Brown spoke candidly about her new role and responsibilities, saying, "As president, I will lead with the passion and resolve necessary to ensure ETFO members are protected and supported...In the face of systemic racism, ETFO must continue to lead the charge for inclusive workplaces. We must vehemently oppose using race, religion, ancestry, gender, or sexual orientation to build a wedge among members or within our communities."
Congratulations, President Brown!
Photo Courtesy of the Elementary Teacher's Federation Of Ontario (ETFO)