May 27, 2021
This teachers’ Union President has endured years of anti-Black racism in the TDSB. She has a plan for change
Jennifer Brown couldn’t bring herself to read the note, so she asked her husband to do it instead.
The note in question was a scan of a newspaper clipping the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario office had received in March of a December 2020 Star article Brown was featured in. Racist slurs and vitriol were scribbled over the article in pen.
“With COVID-19 and with schools opening and closing, I couldn’t afford to be distracted,” Brown said. “It was still on my mind, but I just did not want to have to face it.”
While police investigate the note as a hate crime, Brown, the first Black president of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto union, continues to fulfil the purpose she’s set out for herself: To address and dismantle systemic racism within the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), starting with publicly speaking out about the discrimination she and other Black teachers have endured and creating more opportunities for racialized education workers to have their voices heard.