UWindsor unveils statue honouring abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd

University of Windsor celebrates the unveiling of the Mary Ann Shadd statue in downtown Windsor, May 12, 2022. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

A statue honouring Mary Ann Shadd was unveiled in downtown Windsor Thursday.

Shadd was a prominent activist in the Underground Railroad communities and became the first woman in Canada and the first Black woman in all of North America to establish a newspaper. She first arrived to the Windsor area in what was then Upper Canada in 1851.

Vernon Shadd, a descendent of Mary Ann Shadd, said he hopes the statue encourages more people to learn about her history.

“It’s great, we get the recognition of somebody in our family, somebody in Canadian history that contributed so much to help fugitive slaves and everyone else to try to better themselves. So it’s great that she’s getting that kind of recognition,” said Vernon Shadd.

The bronze statue was conceived and sculpted by Windsor artist Donna Mayne.

“When I learned her story, I thought who can’t help but be more inspired by her and I always felt that she deserved more recognition,” said Mayne.

The statue now stands on the University of Windsor’s downtown campus on the corner of Chatham and Ferry Streets.

“The University of Windsor is so proud to honour Mary Ann Shadd’s legacy for generations to come as we work towards establishing a more safe, just, and equitable campus community – a truly inclusive future for the University begins with our actions today,” said UWindsor President & Vice-Chancellor Rob Gordon.