Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 16, 2006

Sociologist Receives African-Canadian Achievement Award

University of Guelph sociology professor Cecil Foster is the 2006 recipient of the African-Canadian Achievement Award (ACAA) for arts and entertainment. Foster, who is considered one of Canada’s leading intellectuals on issues of race, culture, citizenship and immigration, will receive the award May 27 at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto.

“It is always humbling to know that people think your work is worthy enough to merit this kind of recognition and that you are making a contribution to society,” said Foster. “I hope this award will serve as a kind of inspiration for my students, my communities and the people with whom I work closely.”

Foster is receiving the award for his overall contributions to the arts and entertainment, said ACAA executive producer Joan Pierre. “Cecil does great research and really digs deep in his writing,” she said. “Our awards committee has known his work for many years, so when we received his nomination, it wasn’t a hard choice for us to honour him with this award.”

A U of G faculty member since 2002, Foster is the author of several non-fiction and fiction books, including Where Race Does Not Matter: The New Spirit of Modernity, the award-winning A Place Called Heaven: The Meaning of Being Black in Canada, the memoir Island Wings and the novel No Man In the House. A former journalist and radio host, he also taught media studies at Ryerson University in Toronto.

The ACAA has been celebrating the achievements and contributions of African-Canadians to their community and the wider society since 1985. The awards were founded by the editor and publisher of Pride News Magazine, which highlights African- and Caribbean-Canadian contributions to communities throughout Ontario.

Jazz icon Oscar Peterson is receiving this year’s ACAA lifetime achievement award for being one of the most influential musicians of his era. Past award recipients include U of G chancellor Lincoln Alexander, Ontario’s former lieutenant-governor; Rosemary Brown, Canada’s first African-Canadian female MPP; and Julius Isaac, chief justice of the Federal Court of Canada.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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