BEST ADVOCATE OF MINORITY RIGHTS
DUDLEY LAWS, BLACK ACTION DEFENCE COMMITTEE 944A St. Clair West, 416-656-2232 We’re a multicultural city where most people get along. But we’ve also had a fiery history when it comes to race relations. Many individuals and groups have fought the good fight for racial harmony and challenged us to think about our own prejudices as well as systemic barriers faced by visible-minority Canadians: Karen Mock, Avvy Go, Tam Goossen, Zanana Akande, Lincoln Alexander. But Dudley Laws of the Black Action Defence Committee is a force who endures, not only in the area of police-black community relations, but in challenges facing blacks in the education system. BADC is one of a coalition of 20-odd groups calling for blackfocused schools. Over more than a quarter-century in race relations, Laws has dared to to tell it like it is, even when the truth hurt and dried donations to the point that BADC’s ramshackle offices had to be temporarily closed. Laws’s radical pitch hasn’t always ingratiated him with the public or, for that matter, with more conservative members of his own community. Still, he’s been willing to suffer the slings, including attempts by police to discredit and silence him. Others fight for the cause. Laws has the scars to prove it.