Everyone who has heard Rosemary Brown speak, or has read her weekly column in the Vancouver Sun, can attest to her power and passion as a voice for human rights and the rights of women around the world.
Jamaican-born, Rosemary Brown was a social worker before becoming the first black woman elected to a Canadian legislature when she became a member of the B.C. Legislature in 1972.
In Victoria, she lost no time in setting to work creating a committee to eliminate sexism in textbooks and educational curricula. She was also instrumental in establishing the Berger Commission on the Family, and in introducing legislation which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or marital status. Her efforts contributed directly to an increase in the number of women represented on boards, commissions and directorates.
Ms. Brown remained an effective and popular representative for her Vancouver riding until 1986, when she left politics to become a professor of Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Her passion for justice and equality undiminished, she has become a professional speaker in demand both nationally and internationally.
In 1993 she was named to the Canadian Security Intelligence Review Committee for a five-year term, and currently holds the position of Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.