Cape Breton University’s Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice, Dr. Graham Reynolds is hosting a screening of A long Road to Justice: The Viola Desmond Story, on Wednesday, March 28 at 10 a.m. in the Sydney Credit Union Room, CE-265, Student, Culture and Heritage Centre, Cape Breton University. The documentary, created by the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, tells the riveting story of Viola Desmond’s life and the long journey to being pardoned of her crimes. The screening is free and open to the public.
“This documentary is very well produced and shares the story of Viola Desmond in a very captivating way, a story that I strongly believe should be known by Canadians across the country. Viola Desmond’s sister, Wanda Robson and I were very involved in the project as education consultants. The project reinforces the importance of the Chair at CBU and the work that is being completed,” says Dr. Reynolds.
To celebrate African Heritage Month, Dr. Reynolds visited local high school to hold viewings of the documentary followed by a discussion on social justice issues with the students. The conversation generated was very interesting and ranged from topics on courage and bullying to Viola’s story.
“Educational outreach is a strong component of the Chair and being involved in projects such as this documentary directly aligns with the Chair’s mandate. Viola’s story is so important to Canada’s history and by educating students today about issues that happened less than 75 years ago I think it can help diminish some of the social justice issues that students are confronted with. Education is key to overcoming social justice issues,” says Dr. Reynolds.
The Viola Desmond Chair in Social Justice at Cape Breton University was created in honour of Viola Desmond, a Canadian civil rights icon who challenged the practice of racial segregation in Nova Scotia when she refused to leave her seat in the white’s only section of New Glasgow’s Roseland theatre in 1946. Now, more than 50 years after she was arrested and thrown in jail, the Nova Scotia Government has apologized for the wrongful treatment Ms. Desmond received and has recognized her great courage and dignity.
Following the screening, Wanda Robson and Dr. Reynolds will be available for discussion with the attendees. For more information visit www.cbu.ca/desmond.