Yolanda McClean, an activist from CUPE 4400 (City of Toronto Education Workers), is the winner of this year’s Ed Blackman Award. The award recognizes work in the pursuit of racial justice and a strong, diverse labour movement.
Sister McClean is currently serving her fourth term as diversity vice-president on CUPE’s National Executive Board. She is second vice-president on the CUPE Ontario executive board, equity vice-president for CUPE 4400 and president of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.
McClean’s family, including her parents, were in attendance. She thanked them for giving her the strength to fight every single day. She spoke of the challenges facing workers of colour in a world, a country, and a city where white supremacists are on the rise. In the face of these challenges, she said, “as activists, we will continue to do what we always do. Fight back, be bold and be brave.”