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Thirtywood

Celebrate Fernwood Publishing's Thirtieth anniversary with this special podcast that features Fernwood authors, their ideas and why Canada needs radical publishing.
11/16/2022

Lynn Jones and El Jones

Ep. 4
In this episode, Lynn Jones and El Jones talk about writing for social change, the power of community and the importance of radical publishing. El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor and activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches at Mount Saint Vincent University, where she was named the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies in 2017. She was Halifax’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. She is the author of Live from the Afrikan Resistance!, a collection of poems about resisting white colonialism. Her work focuses on social justice issues, such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism and decolonization. Since 2016, she has co-hosted a radio show called Black Power Hour, on CKDU-FM where listeners from prisons call in to rap and read their poetry, providing a voice to people who rarely get a wide audience.Lynn Jones came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the early 1970s, where she studied at Dalhousie University through the Transition Year Program (TYP), and earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree. She then pursued a long career as a Federal Public Service employee, working at the Canadian Employment Centre. During this time, Lynn became an active union member and advocate, and the first Black person to join the executive ranks of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). She was also a National Vice-President of the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU). As part of the CLC delegation, in 1994, Lynn traveled to South Africa as an election observer in the first free elections (which saw the election of Nelson Mandela). In 1993 Lynn became the first Canadian-born African Canadian women to run in a Canadian Federal Election, as the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the Halifax riding.Throughout her life, Lynn has been active in the pursuit of justice, working tireless for many causes and organizations that seek to eradicate racism, secure human rights, and achieve fair labour practices. She has been honoured with many awards including the Queen's Medal, the Congress of Black Women of Canada’s Women of Excellence award, and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour Human Rights Award. In 2016, she was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate from Acadia University. Since her retirement from Public Service in 2011, Lynn continues to be active. She is currently the Chair of the Global African Congress (Nova Scotia Chapter), which seeks reparations for the Atlantic Slave Trade.