George Altamont Brown, BA’59

George Altamont BrownGeorge, beloved husband of Iris, passed away peacefully on April 10, 2014, in Toronto. George studied economics and political science because he believed a strong economy was a precursor to implementing change in any society. His passion for improving the living conditions in his homeland, Jamaica, compelled him to complete a master’s degree in public administration at Carleton University and a master’s degree in economics at the University of Toronto (U of T) before returning to Jamaica in 1962. From 1962 to 1966, George worked at the Central Planning Unit, the Development Finance Corporation, and the University of the West Indies (UWI) hospital in Kingston, JM. As assistant administrator of the UWI hospital, he received a fellowship to study at the School of Administrative Medicine, Columbia University, NY. After returning to Canada in 1966 and gaining a master’s degree in social work in 1968 at U of T, George joined the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) becoming its executive director in 1976. He will be remembered for his strength of character, integrity, sense of outrage at injustice, engaging personality and infectious laugh. George’s legacy is his vast contribution to the arena of human rights in Ontario. He was a fantastic leader who provided stimulus for change, led the struggle for equal opportunity in every endeavor, and was instrumental in establishing new structures within the OHRC, such as a community race and ethnic relations unit. George used his fine intellectual powers to combat injustice, which was rampant in the social fabric of Ontario. His remarkable achievements at the OHRC changed the social dynamics of Ontario. George spent his entire life thinking about how to rid our society of the evils of harassment and discrimination. Now that his earthly watch is over, he can rest in peace having realized his dream of making the world a better place.

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