Statement: Emancipation Day 2022

Statement: Emancipation Day 2022


On March 24, 2021 the House of Commons voted unanimously to officially designate August 1 Emancipation Day. It marks the actual day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into effect across the British Empire.


August 1, 2022 will mark the second federally recognized Emancipation Day in Canada – a day that honours the long legacy and contribution of Black Canadians and the commitment to unlearning anti-Black racism and pushing for a more just society. Canadians are not always aware that Black and Indigenous Peoples were once enslaved on the land that is now Canada. Those who fought enslavement were pivotal in shaping our society to be as diverse as it is today.


Through its commitments to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion, the University of Windsor has begun to take important steps to address the systemic inequities on campus. There is still much work to be done to ensure everyone feels like they belong.


As we celebrate Emancipation Day, let us commit to bold and reparative social justice. Although the institution of slavery officially ended in slave colonies in the British empire after more than 300 years in some places on August 1, 1834, the legacy of African enslavement reverberates today.


Dr. Clinton Beckford 

Vice President, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


In-person events are taking place across Windsor-Essex to commemorate Emancipation Day:

Kaitlyn Ellsworth, Black student support coordinator, collaborated with the Leddy Library to compile a non-exhaustive collection of Canadian Emancipation Day materials that includes historical texts, scholarly articles, media articles, videos, and more.