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Honouring the Inspiring Viola Desmond on Canadian Ten Dollar Bill

Earlier this month, Viola Desmond, a civil right’s activist often referred to as “Canada’s Rosa Parks,” was announced to be one of the new faces on the Canadian ten-dollar bill that will begin circulating by the end of 2018. Desmond’s grateful sister, Wanda Robson, witnessed the honouring on her behalf.

Viola Desmond is the definition of an empowering and inspirational woman. In a time of racism and segregation in Nova Scotia during the 1940s, she courageously stood up for people of colour by sitting in the section of a movie theatre designated for white people only. Desmond was arrested and put in jail for her actions, but that did not stop her from appealing her case and continuing her life as a civil rights activist.

CBC news stated that “according to the Bank of Canada, Desmond’s court case was the first known legal challenge against racial segregation brought forward by a black woman in Canada”. Not only did Desmond take a stand for black rights in Canada, as a woman with even less of a voice at the time, she was a true inspiration for women of colour.

According to CBC news, Canada’s recognition of Viola Desmond is being widely accepted. Desmond is the first black person ever to be featured on a Canadian bill. In his interview with CBC, Russell Grosse, the executive director of the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, states that “the launch of the bill sends people of African descent the message that Canada is finally accepting us. We belong.”

Viola Desmond and Canada’s honouring of her legacy truly reflect how far people of colour and women have come in this country. It makes me very proud to see the country honouring her courageousness.


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Hello there! My name is Genevieve Gignac. I am currently a 2nd year Communications student at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. My favourite articles to write are about fashion, beauty, pop culture, and current events. Originally, I grew up in Toronto, Ontario, but I moved with my family to Vancouver when I was 11 years old. My hobbies include keeping active by hiking or doing pilates at the gym, hanging out with my family and friends, and binging my favourite shows on Netflix. After university, I aspire to use my Communication degree to work in PR, events co-ordinating, and social media. You can keep up with my articles here, or follow me on Instagram: @genevieve_gignac
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