Goals, Objectives and Membership

The objectives for which the Congress was established. To provide a network of solidarity for Black Women of South-Western Ontario and to be a united voice in the defense and extension of human rights and liberties of Black Women of Canada. To foster a climate in which it is acceptable for Black Women to openly…

Gwen Jenkins

About the Congress – London Chapter

The Congress of Black Women of Canada (London Chapter) was founded in 1989 by the late Gwen Jenkins. The Congress is a voluntary, non-profit, national organization with chapters across Canada, from Halifax on the Atlantic coast to Vancouver on the Pacific coast. We are always looking for new members. Any Black female, age 16 years…

Founding of the Congress

Kay LivingstoneMrs. K. Livingstone, founder, Congress of Black Women of Canada 1971.
Kay’s ancestors came from Cayuga and settled in the Chatham/London area during the early 19th century. Her early education and training was in the city of London and in Toronto, where she excelled in Drama and Speech Arts at The Royal Conservatory of Music, and later at the Ontario College of Music in Ottawa.

Her father, James Jenkins, an Assistant Judge of the Juvenile Court in London and a leading figure in the local black community, and her mother Christina, instilled in her a concept of community awareness. One of the Province’s earliest black newspapers, The Dawn of Tomorrow founded by Kay’s parents had a great influence on her interest in black history and the contributions of black people in North America.

After leaving London, Kay worked as a civil servant in Ottawa, where she met and married George Livingstone of Antigua. During this same period, she hosted her own radio show, The Kathleen Livingstone Show, featuring poetry and music. At this time, she also became an accomplished horsewoman. Kay and George established their home in Toronto, where George founded his own contracting firm, and they raised a family of five children. She continued to be actively involved in performing arts appearing as one of Canada’s leading black actresses, receiving very favourable reviews, in the amateur and professional stage, and television and motion pictures. In addition to her interest in the performing arts Kay was concerned with promoting Canadian understanding of black people and their contributions. She also hosted The Kay Livingstone Show on CBC, CKEY, and CFPL (London), dealing with the traditions and cultural activities of black peoples of the World.