Gopie receives Hubbard Award


Kamala-Jean Gopie
Kamala-Jean Gopie

Jamaica-born Jamaica Canadian Association co-founder Kamala-Jean Gopie who has fought tirelessly for the community has received the William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations from the City of Toronto
The award highlights access, equity and human rights.
The veteran activist and leader who is also the University of the West Indies Toronto Gala 2011 Vice-Chancellor’s Award recipient noted, “My grandchildren are enriched by growing up in a multi-ethnic society.
“If I say so myself, I was a pioneer. But I look forward to a time when we are not saying first this or first that. These should be the norm.”
An educator and philanthropist, Gopie told The Camera, “I feel truly honoured to be recognized by my city for the work done over four decades to make life a bit better for the most vulnerable in our city.”
The recipient of the Order of Ontario expressed her appreciation for the award in recognition of her work in making a difference in Toronto by eliminating discrimination and barriers to equality.
Gopie, who graced the Queen’s 60th Gala 2014 magazine cover as a guest speaker at the Queen’s 60th Gala Dinner, graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in arts and a master’s in education and served as an educator. U of T offers a Kamala-Jean Gopie Award to undergrad students who “demonstrate an interest in issues concerning women of Indian descent from or in the Caribbean.” Her ancestors went to Jamaica from India as indentured labourers.
Her service to the community and country include chair, Urban Alliance on Race Relations; a founding director of the Black Business and Professional Association and chair of the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund; a member of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship and a member of the Refugee Board.
During her time on the Ontario Race Relations and Policing Task Force, Gopie was the target of a Toronto Police probe which listed her as a radical activist, a charge she dismissed then as “ludicrous.”

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