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U of T Scarborough Alumna to Deliver Inaugural "Perspectives on Leadership" Lecture


A new lecture series at U of T Scarborough will feature a former student as its first speaker.  Dr. Justine Blainey-Broker, a member of the class of 95 and winner of a U of T Scarborough 40th Anniversary Alumni Award, will deliver the inaugural “Perspectives on Leadership” lecture on Monday, January 29th.

“The ‘Perspectives on Leadership’ Lecture Series is designed to give our students the opportunity to hear about a wide variety of leadership experiences and perspectives,” said Drew Dudley, Coordinator of Campus Life and Leadership Development at U of T Scarborough.  “Dr. Blainey-Broker’s story is one that I feel will really resonate with our students.  She set a goal for herself at a very young age, and her successful pursuit of that goal helped shape the world our students currently live in.  She’s a great example of the fact that leadership can begin any time in your life.”

Justine Blainey-Broker

In 1981, when she was still in grade school, Blainey-Broker won a spot on a Metro Toronto Hockey League Team (MTHL) but was denied the chance to play because MTHL regulations did not permit women in the league. When she addressed a complaint to the Human Rights Commission, Blainey-Broker learned that, at the time, the Ontario Human Rights Code specifically allowed sexual discrimination in sports.

Choosing to appeal the Ontario law, Blainey-Broker endured five different court cases before finally having her case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1986.

The Supreme Court upheld her appeal, striking down the portion of the Ontario Human Rights Code allowing for sexual discrimination. Her battle opened the door for women to compete with men in sports in Ontario.

However, her victory did not come without incident. While standing up for fairness and equality, Blainey-Broker faced instances of discrimination, cruelty, threats of kidnapping and violence and significant social pressure.

Her fighting spirit came to the forefront once again in 1993, this time as Blainey-Broker attended U of T Scarborough. Despite the fact that U of T’s women’s hockey team had just won a provincial championship (in fact, they had won 13 of the last 15 championships), a task force recommended that the University cut the team for financial reasons.

Blainey-Broker, then a member of the team, organized a “Save the Team” night that raised $8,000. She personally called 100 alumni during a one-week fundraising blitz. These efforts not only helped save the team, but also increased its funding. Two years later, the University Affairs Board of Governing Council voted to provide equal funding for women’s and men’s intercollegiate sports.

A National Scholar while at U of T Scarborough, Blainey-Broker worked to improve the experience of first-year students at both the Scarborough and St. George campuses by initiating and promoting a series of ongoing meetings between first-year students and the faculty and administration.

Today, Blainey-Broker is a mother of two and operates the Justine Blainey-Broker Wellness Centre, a chiropractic practice in Brampton, with her brother. She continues to promote equality through public speaking.

“We are thrilled to present such a groundbreaking leader as the initial speaker for this series,” said Dudley.  “I encourage everyone to join us on January 29th to hear this amazing story about battling intolerance and prejudice in order to open doors to gender equality.”

The inaugural “Perspectives on Leadership” lecture featuring Dr. Justine Blainey-Broker will be held on Monday, January 29th, at 7:00 p.m. in room S309 at the University of Toronto Scarborough.  Students can RSVP to the event through the U of T Scarborough intranet:

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