Debora Grant-Barkun, mother, unexpected union and civil rights activist, Ottawa CBC/Radio-Canada.
I am a Black woman, first generation Canadian of Trinidadian descent. I am a mother of four children. I have never considered myself an activist, I simply believe in equality for all. I understand what it is like being the only voice in the room. Once I have made the decision to stand up for what’s right, I can not turn a blind eye to injustice. We as a people do better. We can stand side by side and celebrate achievements and support each other through the challenges.
I was born and raised in Montreal. I attended French school through to grade 11. I am grateful for my bilingualism. I had dreams of being a writer and stage director for the Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal, I’m not done with that dream. Currently, I am an Administrative Specialist for Shared Services. It was my mission statement to work for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. It represented multiculturalism and all the good things that Canada represents. I realize working here that my vision of the CBC is not the reality of many employees’ current experiences. I’ve been at the CBC for 15 years and I want to help make my vision of the CBC become a reality. I’ve been a member of the Diversity and inclusion committee as a CMG representative. I was a co-chair of the Visible Women Bring Value Employee Resource Group. I’ve done podcasts for the CBC discussing matters of inclusion. I’ve also been scared of stepping into roles of authority as Black woman, I fear push back, retribution and anger. I’ve since realized that those fears matter and that justice matters more. Equality and Equity matter more, civil rights matter more. This is why I am running for CMG’s Diversity Director position. I want to move towards positive change for my colleagues in front of the camera and behind the scenes. It is time.
I am deeply committed to making our working places more welcoming, nurturing and inclusive for all people working for the corporation that needs their voice heard. Please vote for me online Nov 5, and help make the union more progressive and a leader in fighting for human rights for all of us.
Thank you for your time.