Brock University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gervan Fearon was honoured by a prestigious organization last week for his impact in education.
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation — established by The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, the 27th Governor General of Canada (2005–2010) — recognized Fearon with the Influencer Award at the National Black Canadians Summit, held Dec. 4 to 6 at the Toronto Reference Library.
The award was created to honour Canadians of African descent who have stood out in their ability to shape ideas and perspectives while driving innovation in Canada through their scholarship, activism and organizational leadership.
“We are truly delighted to honour Dr. Gervan Fearon with the Influencer Award for his achievements in the areas of academia, scholarship, public policy and administrative leadership,” said Peter Flegel, Director of Programming and Development at the Michaëlle Jean Foundation. “Canada’s first university president of African descent, Dr. Fearon stands as a transformative influencer whose passion for and commitment to community development, teaching, research and knowledge have seen him innovate and drive impact in his positions as a top university administrator of two institutions of higher learning.”
Prior to taking on the lead role at Brock in August, Fearon was the President of Manitoba’s Brandon University.
During his event remarks, Fearon emphasized the importance of post-secondary education in supporting individual and community success and development.
He used the occasion to “congratulate and recognize the numerous outstanding university students, faculty and staff members across the country who work hard every day to contribute to their communities,” while also crediting the family and community members who support them on their path to success.
In an effort to benefit all Canadians and advance the development of an inclusive society, the three-day National Black Canadians Summit saw participants work on an inclusive agenda and strategies for promoting increased democratic participation, improving educational outcomes, enhancing justice and community safety, and improving mental and physical health outcomes within black Canadian communities.
The event included speeches by The Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, Ahmed H. Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.
A number of individuals were recognized at the summit, receiving awards for their contributions and accomplishments, including The Honorable Jean Augustine, the first black female MP and Cabinet minister; Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival; Angela Cassie, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Programs, Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg; and Michael Lee Chin, Founder and Chairman, Portland Holdings, Inc.