Black female executive producers, judges, and historians

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 5th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Culture>General

Continuing with the series on famous Black female Canadians we will now look at basketball player and Executive Television Producer, Sylvia Sweeney. We will also look at the accomplishments of judge, Jaunita Westmoreland, and Black historian, Dorothy Williams.

Sylvia Sweeney

Written in 2012

Today we celebrate a famous Black Canadian woman, Sylvia Sweeney, who is the niece of Montreal’s Jazz King Oscar Peterson. She is an Olympic basketball player and Canadian Executive Television Producer.

Sports Career

Sylvia Sweeney
was born in Montreal on October 3, 1956. She began her career by playing basketball in 1972. She was on the Quebec Basketball team. She was also admitted to McGill University, Department of Performance to study classical piano. Music is definitely in the blood of this fine family. By 1973 she was already the star of the McGill Martlets basketball team. She held the record for the most points that year. Sylvia made the Canadian Olympic Basketball team in 1976.

Sylvia also played for the Concordia Stingers when the team made national finals in 1977. She played in the Laurentian Lady Vees when the team made the championship in 1979. She was voted the Most Valuable Player in the World Championships in 1979 in Seoul Korea FIBA. She was also Canadian Flag bearer for the 1979 Pan American Games in Mexico.

"Sylvia Sweeney competed in France for L'Association Sportif Montferrandaise (ASM) sponsored by Michelin Tire. She was hired by Michelin Tire in sales and in 1980 and worked in its department of economic forecasting in 1980."

She was the captain of the Canadian National Team - 1979-84. She played her last Olympic Games in 1984 in Los Angeles. The Canadian team came in fourth.

Media career

Sylvia was hired as a researcher for CBC television in 1983 and then editorial assistant the following year. Her career soared and in 1985 she was working as a writer, sportscaster and broadcaster for CBMT Newswatch. The year 1986 gave way to her career in the Department of Current Affairs news programming again at CBC Montreal. She covered the 1988 Calgary Olympics at the National CBC level. She was the weekend anchor for CBC Montreal and a journalist and host for the renowned CTV W5 in 1989.

Sylvia Sweeney is the founder of the Elitha Peterson Productions and the International Performing Arts for All producing a documentary on the life of Oscar Peterson, great Montreal Jazz pianist and her uncle, and award-winning documentary programming for WTSN, W Network, TVOntario, History Television and Vision TV.

By 2002 she was the executive producer for the Ontario Centre for the National Film Board of Canada.

She is inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of fame, the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and the Quebec Merite Sportif Hall of Fame

She continues with a myriad of awards and feats in the world of journalism and film.

Juanita Westmoreland

Today we celebrate a famous Black Montreal woman - Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré.

Juanita Westmoreland is the very first Black woman judge in Quebec. She was born in Verdun, a borough of Montreal in 1942. She went to Marianopolas College and then onto Université de Montréal for a law degree.

She began to work in 1970 for the firm Mergler, Melançon. She taught law at Université de Montréal in the 1970’s and then again at the Université du Québec à Montréal from 1976 to 1991. Westmoreland is also a member of the Ontario bar.

Other work history

  • 1979 – 1983 - Worked for Office de protection des consommateurs du Québec

  • 1983 – 1985 - Commissioner for the Canadian Human Rights Commission

  • 1985 - First chair of Quebec's Conseil des communautés culturelles et de l’immigration

  • 1991 – 1995 - Employment Equity Commissioner of Ontario

  • 1996 – 1999 - Dean of the University of Windsor's law faculty

  • 1999 - Judge of the Court of Quebec for the District of Montreal

  • Awards

  • 1991 - Officer of the National Order of Quebec

  • Other rewards

    ” from Canadian Jewish Congress, the Montreal Association of Black Business Persons and Professionals, and the Canadian Bar Association. In 2008, she was awarded the Quebec Human Rights Commission's Rights and Liberties Prize for her career-long fight against discrimination.”

    Dorothy Williams

    Black Montreal historian – Dorothy Williams

    Dorothy Williams in a Black Historian born and raised in Montreal, she is also a very good friend of mine. I first met Dorothy at Welcome Hall Mission Sunday school in Montreal. Later we lost touch and then rekindled our relationship. Dorothy was an International scrabble champion in her league and we began to play together for many years at her home in the Montreal district of St. Henri.

    As a researcher Dr. Williams brought Black History to Montrealers and Canadians alike; showcasing their contribution to the Canadian mosaic. Dorothy founded Inc. in 2007 creating an online library of Black content.

    Her wealth of knowledge puts her in high demand for producing web content for other organizations such as Historians Recount/Les historien(ne)s racontent, (October 2003). She has also contributed to several films.

    As an educator, she has given oral presentations, seminars, lectures, and teacher and librarian workshops.

    Dr. Williams volunteers her services in the Little Burgundy community where she and we grew up. She is often consulted on matter of importance to the Black Montreal Community.

    Books by Dorothy Williams

    • Blacks in Montreal: 1628-1986 An Urban Demography, was written at the behest of the Quebec Human Rights Commission, in 1989, during their study of racism in Montreal's housing market.

    • 1997, The Road to Now: A History of Blacks in Montreal, remains the only chronological study of Blacks on the island of Montreal

    • 1998, Les Noirs à Montréal, Essai de démographie urbaine, was a translation of Blacks in Montreal.

    • Awards:

    • 1998 - The Mathieu da Costa Award

    • 2002 - Québec Laureate

    • Anne Greenup Prize for the Fight against Racism and the Promotion of Civic Participation

    All photos taken from the public domain

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    Black Female Judges, Black History, Black Montreal Historian, Dorothy Williams, Famous Black Canadians, Famous Black Women, Jaunita Westmoreland, Sylvia Sweeney

    Meet the author

    author avatar Carol Roach
    Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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    author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
    5th Nov 2015 (#)

    Interesting post!

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    author avatar Susan Hauck
    6th Nov 2015 (#)

    Enjoyed reading this share! Thanks!

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