Nov. 3, 2017
For Immediate Release
Brantford – Two women who actively campaigned against South African apartheid, Yola Grant and Yolisa Dalamba, will speak at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus on Nov. 16 and 17 as part of the People Make History lecture series.
“Our goal for the lecture series is to showcase history from the perspective of someone who lived through a historic event and to demonstrate how individuals can impact history,” said Laurier Associate Professor Tarah Brookfield, the lead organizer of the event. “For this particular lecture, we want to raise awareness about the history of apartheid and the resistance against it in South Africa and Canada.”
Grant, who was born in Jamaica, is currently the associate chair and adjudicator at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. She immigrated to Canada in the 1970s and became active in anti-racism public education and in the anti-apartheid and feminist movements. She was co-chair of the Anti-Apartheid Coalition of Toronto and chair of Canadians Concerned about South Africa, a group advocating for the Canadian government to put sanctions on South Africa. To work full time for social justice, she went to Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1989. As a lawyer, she practiced labour law, human rights law and Charter litigation, representing various equity-seeking organizations. After apartheid ended in South Africa, she served as an elections observer in 1994. She has also served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations, including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (Canada).
Dalamba, who was born in South Africa, grew up in the anti-apartheid movement. A grassroots activist-educator for more than 30 years, she has worked in Southern Africa and Canada, often using interactive theatre. During the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1990s, she travelled around Southern Africa doing AIDS education work. She has a master’s degree, for which she focused on the use of drama and theatre in education, and has been an instructor at institutions including the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Grant and Dalamba will speak at two events, both of which are free and open to the public, with no registration necessary. On Nov. 16, they will give a talk titled “Anti-Apartheid Activism in Canada and South Africa, 1980s and 1990s.” The talk is from 7-9 p.m. at the Research and Academic Centre West, 150 Dalhousie St., room RCW002.
On Nov. 17, they will have breakfast with students from the Law and Society, Human Rights and Human Diversity, Social and Environmental Justice, and Education programs to share their thoughts and experiences about law and education careers. Following that, they will give a talk, “Reflections on South African Apartheid,” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Odeon Building, 50 Market St., room 200.
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