CFA’s Cecil Canton honored with prestigious national award

For years, Dr. Cecil Canton has worked tirelessly to cultivate a deeper understanding of equity, anti-racism, and social justice. This year, he is being honored for his dedication.

His work on increasing awareness of cultural taxation in the academy has woken thousands to the heavier service workload faculty of color and female faculty face and has led to improvements in the faculty contract.

Canton, who serves as CFA’s Associate Vice President of Affirmative Action North and has been teaching at Sacramento State University since 1991, never fails to advocate on behalf of colleagues and students, from testifying during Legislative hearings to telling the CSU Board of Trustees that when it comes to racism, “If you can’t name it, you can’t tame it.”

He developed and has led CFA’s trainings on Unconscious Bias since they began in 2014, and is at the forefront of the union’s Anti-Racism and Social Justice Transformation work.

Canton will receive the National Education Association’s 2018 H. Councill Trenholm Memorial Award for exemplary work as a Black Educator, and his efforts to help eradicate racial inequalities in the education community.

“This award isn’t just for me, it also validates the exemplary work CFA is doing as an organization to combat racism and uphold social justice, and our commitment to intentionally center those tenets within our union,” Canton said.

“We are not done, and we will keep learning and challenging racism and injustice whenever and wherever we find it.”

In her letter nominating Canton for the award, CFA President Jennifer Eagan wrote: “Cecil serves in many ways as our moral conscience, pushing us to live up to our rhetoric, to face up to white supremacy in our own policies and practices, and make sure that not only faculty of color and LGBTQI faculty are included in our union leadership, but that the power and resources of our union are distributed equitably so that we are truly challenging structural racism in our own organization. 

“He brings people into the union with that personal energy and engagement, and keeps them attached by virtue of his sincerity and the quality of the work of the Council for Affirmative Action.”

Congratulations Cecil! Thank you for your dedication, your inspiring words, and for all that you have taught us over the years.