Dr Lynn Jones – A native of Truro, Nova Scotia, is one of ten children in a family of community leaders. She has been a life-long civil and human rights activist, an educator, community and labour organizer, and a truly inspiring speaker.
Lynn’s activism started in school days. Her parents, Willena and Elmer Jones whose life-long dedication to social justice inspired all their children. She agitated against the Vietnam War, as well as, the pernicious racial discrimination she and other African-Nova Scotian students experienced on a daily basis. Truro’s residential areas and public spaces were segregated. Even the washrooms were segregated in the elementary schools, a factor that changed during Lynn’s childhood, largely because of her “strong and mighty” mother’s active protest.
She was a student in Dalhousie University’s landmark Transition Year program that continues to provide access to higher education and engagement in leadership initiatives for Native and African-Canadian youth. Lynn’s areas of concern have been environmental racism. This is sparked by her awareness that dumps and toxic waste sites are disproportionately located next to African-Canadian and First Nations communities, close to the homes of the economically disadvantaged, socially excluded and the powerless. In 1995, as Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLA), she pushed for a chapter on this crucial topic in the first – and only – National anti-racism report of unions and their communities in Canada which she co-chaired. Lynn’s ongoing dedication to this cause provides inspiration for the successful community-based ENRICH project—Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequalities & Community Health —as well, Time to Clear the Air: Art on Environmental Racism, a remarkable project by young artists in the African-Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities.