California Faculty Association members past and present, former colleagues, and family and friends celebrated and honored Dr. Cecil Canton last month, an educator and anti-racist and social justice leader who transformed this higher educational union into a better, more racial and social justice-minded one.
Members unveiled the Dr. Cecil E. Canton Social Justice Room at CFA headquarters after powerful speeches celebrating the decades-long role Dr. Canton played in changing our union to adopt principles of equity and justice in order to dismantle anti-Blackness and white supremacy culture: first in CFA and then within the California State University system and across the state of California.
“My title now is Associate Vice President for the Council for Racial and Social Justice, North, and that title, that position exists because of Cecil,” said Chris Cox, AVP of Racial & Social Justice, North. “It exists because of Cecil’s vision. Cecil saw beyond his time in the organization.”
“You suffered as you tried to move this organization forward. I recall so many examples of how no one paid you any attention. They ignored you, and you did not let that stop you,” said Charles Toombs, CFA President. “You found other ways to get around and you brought all of us into this work.”
Not every CFA member leader, activist, member, and staffer who worked with Dr. Canton could join the ceremony. So, we rolled the cameras to document the ceremony, which you can watch now here.
“Let me repeat, justice is everybody’s right,” Canton spoke as dozens echoed proudly as he repeated the next part, “and everybody’s fight. We can never forget that because that’s what animated it for me. We lifted our gaze and focused our will on democracy and justice. To be a more perfect union is to be a more democratic and inclusive union. To be a democratic and inclusive union is to be an equitable and just union.”