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Friday, February 10, 2017

Bigger than ourselves


“Each of us is carving a stone, erecting a column, or cutting a piece of stained glass in the construction of something much bigger than ourselves.” – Adrienne Clarkson
 
Journalist, author, and diplomat Clarkson, born on this date in 1939, first came to Canada with her family in 1941 as a refugee from Japanese-occupied Hong Kong.  Raised in the national capital of Ottawa, she entered university early and earned degrees in several different fields before being drawn to broadcasting. 
  
First hired as a reporter on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) show Take Thirty, Clarkson was promoted to co-host after just one year, becoming one of the first members of a visible minority to obtain a prominent position on Canadian television.    Alongside her positions on Take Thirty, she also was acclaimed for her thoughtful and thought-provoking journalistic writings.

During a 30-year CBC career, she hosted more than 3,500 programs and also became a leading spokesperson and luminary for such charitable organizations as the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Horizons of Canada, and International PEN.  

A tireless proponent of equal opportunity and                   
 a champion of diversity, in 2011 she authored the book Room for All of Us, a compilation of 10 stories about immigrant Canadians, for whom she was a trailblazer.  

“Sometimes we read or hear too much news that makes us fearful or suspicious of others,” she said.  “We can forget that most of the people that we know, or at least encounter regularly, are decent and friendly.”


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