Media Advisory - Provincial plaque commemorates Hugh Burnett and the National
Unity Association

DRESDEN, ON, July 28 /CNW/ -

    Date:           Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.
    Location:       Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site, 29251 Uncle Tom's Road,
                    Dresden, Ontario
    Directions:     Take Highway 401 from Windsor or Toronto to Exit 101.
                    Follow the Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site signs. Take
                    Kent Bridge Road (County Road 15) north to Highway 21.
                    Take Highway 21 north to Dresden. Travel west on Park
                    Street to Uncle Tom's Road. The museum is located south
                    on Uncle Tom's Road.
    Photo           Unveiling of a provincial plaque; Emancipation Day
    opportunity:    celebrations to follow
    Contact:        Gordon Pim
                    Senior Web Communications and Marketing Specialist
                    Telephone: 416-325-1484

Join the Ontario Heritage Trust at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site for the unveiling of a provincial plaque commemorating Hugh Burnett and the National Unity Association. This unveiling launches the annual Emancipation Day celebrations (supported by the RBC Foundation) - a day of free activities commemorating the end of slavery in the British Empire - at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site.

After the Second World War, young Black men returned home with a renewed awareness of their inherent right to be treated with equality. Along with other courageous Blacks in the area, Hugh Burnett founded the National Unity Association (NUA) in 1948 to combat discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation in Ontario.

Through its active lobbying and protests, the NUA - with help from the Association of Civil Liberties and other groups - convinced the government of Ontario to pass the Fair Employment Practices Act in 1951, and the Fair Accommodation Practices Act in 1954.

Much of the content of Ontario's Human Rights Code originated with the Fair Accommodations Practices Act. At a time when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum in the United States, the NUA drew attention to racial inequality in Ontario. The enforcement of the Fair Accommodation Practices Act, as a means to deter discrimination, can be attributed to Hugh Burnett and the NUA.

The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

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SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust

For further information: For further information: Gordon Pim, Senior Web Communications and Marketing Specialist, Telephone: 416-325-1484, Email:

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