Black History Month Honors Horace Patterson

A Legacy of Advocacy and Education

As we celebrate Black History Month, we honor individuals who shaped the landscape of education, activism, and community building. Horace Patterson (1940-1982) is one such figure whose legacy inspires us.

As President of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) from 1968 to 1969, Patterson championed student rights. He fought for representation on key boards and councils and believed in annual course evaluations to improve the educational experience.

His active participation in the West Indian Student’s Association and the Student Reform Movement exemplified his unwavering commitment to fostering community bonds and addressing systemic challenges. These early involvements underscored his profound dedication to advocating for social justice and promoting equality in education.

Beyond student advocacy, his intellect and enthusiasm led to a lectureship in Political Studies, even before completing his Master’s degree. His impact extended beyond the classroom as he co-founded the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba (ACAM) in 1968, providing a platform for cultural exchange and support for Afro-Caribbean students.

Returning to Jamaica in 1973, he continued his commitment to public service. As Director of the National Youth Service, he empowered young people and created opportunities for their development. In 1979, he became Director of the Caribbean Regional Youth Development Centre, further amplifying his regional impact.

Tragically, his life was cut short at 42 in a traffic accident while working with the Commonwealth Secretariat. Yet, his legacy lives on through the Horace Patterson Foundation, established by his wife and daughters. The foundation honors his commitment to activism by awarding scholarships to African-Caribbean youth pursuing higher education or enrolling in the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Manitoba.

Horace Patterson’s enduring legacy reminds us of the power of advocacy, education, and community building. As we celebrate Black History Month, let his unwavering dedication to positive change and a more inclusive society inspire us all. The Foundation is a fitting testament to honor Horace’s legacy.

As you consider donating to a charity, please remember the Horace Patterson Foundation. The fund is administrated by the Winnipeg Foundation, which provides an official charitable tax receipt for all gifts.

Donations can be sent to:
Horace Patterson Foundation FUND
The Winnipeg Foundation
1350 One Lambard Place
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3B 0X3