The Canadian Race Relations Foundation celebrated the accomplishments of June Girvan, by presenting her with the Community Champion Special Award at the 2014 Awards of Excellence, held November 18, 2014 in Ottawa, Ontario.
June Girvan has devoted her life to nurturing, protecting, affirming, and giving voice to children and young people.
Since moving to Canada from Jamaica in the 1950s, Ms. Girvan has invested her talents and resources in bettering the lives of newly arrived Canadians, vulnerable children in the school system and at-risk youth. Her career included positions in teaching and curriculum development, and she also served as an Education Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education.
After her retirement, Ms. Girvan founded the J'Nikira Dinqinesh Education Centre* (JDEC) in Ottawa, where she is the Volunteer-in-Chief. The JDEC's community work is based on honouring and celebrating the moral compass of fellow Canadians, both historic and contemporary, for their efforts in fighting against slavery and championing human rights and social justice in Canada.
The JDEC's main initiatives, held annually in Ottawa, include: Every Child is Sacred and Every Child is Sacred Day; The Era 21 Networking Breakfasts for Young Canadians; History-in-the-Street, and Reconciliation Day.
Ms. Girvan also started a program at Carleton University to expand students' experience and understanding of inclusive citizenship in multicultural societies. The June Girvan Bursary is awarded annually to a graduate student at Carleton who is researching a topic related to reconciliation.
*J'nikira Dinqinesh Education Centre, 333 Besserer St, Ottawa, ON K1N 6B4, 613-241-0743