Rosemary Sadlier has been the president of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) since 1993. As president, she contributes to the recognition of Black history though education, research and outreach programs. Rosemary’s pressure was central to the Canadian government’s 1995 decision to make the celebration of Black History Month a national annual event.
Rosemary was born and raised in Toronto, and she has degrees in teaching and social work. Her roots in Canada reach back to pre-Confederation: her mother’s family can be traced to 1840, while her father’s ancestors arrived in New Brunswick in 1793.
Along with the 1995 establishment of National Black History Month, the Ontario Black History Society has also recently initiated the formal celebration of August 1 as Emancipation Day. For Rosemary, such events have helped and will continue to help Canadian students and teachers to recognize the contributions of Black people in Canada.
Rosemary has presented nationally and internationally – including to the United Nations – on the subjects of Black Canadian history, curricula, and anti-racism. She has also researched and written prolifically about Black history and Black Canadian history.
Rosemary has received several honours and awards including the Order of Ontario, the William Peyton Hubbard Race Relations Award, Women for PACE Award, the Black Links Award, the Planet Africa Marcus Garvey Award and the Harry Jerome Award. Most recently, she was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award from the International Women Achievers’ Awards.