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UPDATED: Viola Desmond named first Canadian woman on a $10 bill

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Queen’s University historian Barrington Walker is available to comment on black rights activist Viola Desmond named the first Canadian woman on a $10 bill. Ms. Desmond is best known for her refusal to accept racial segregation in a Nova Scotia movie theatre.

“The Bank of Canada's selection of Viola Desmond as the first civilian woman to be featured on its currency is historic,” says Dr. Walker. “It is evidence of a country that is increasingly willing to both acknowledge its history of racial injustice and celebrate the legacy of one of our most important civil rights figures. The Bank of Canada is to be commended for this visionary choice.”

Queen's University diversity expert Anita Jack-Davies is also available for comment.

"Today marks a great day in Canadian history. Choosing Viola Desmond to appear on the Canadian $10 bill not only acknowledges the role that African Canadians have played in the history of our country, but recognizes the importance of images in the psyches of Canadians," says Dr. Jack-Davies. "With this recognition, we are starting new conversations about the experiences of blacks in Canada, a conversation that is sometimes difficult for Canadians to discuss openly."

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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