Tribute to Yolène Jumelle

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 1, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Gracia Kasoki Katahwa, Mayor of the Borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (CDN-NDG), together with Dominique Ollivier, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Ville de Montréal, is proud to inaugurate the Passage Yolène-Jumelle, named in honour of an exceptional woman. Throughout her life, Yolène Jumelle was involved in the defense of human rights, particularly those of minorities, and the promotion of public participation in Quebec democracy.

She was a social worker and administrative judge who was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and settled in Quebec in 1971. From an early age, she had a passion for defending human rights that led her to co-found the Maison d’Haïti foundation, the Centre de recherche-action sur les relations raciales and the Maison des Jeunes L’Ouverture. Ms. Jumelle was appointed as a judge to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada by the federal government in 1989 and to the Tribunal administratif du Québec in 1997, and brought her legal expertise to the Faculty of Law of the University of Rwanda and the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal, where she collaborated on several occasions as a visiting professor.

Ms. Ollivier, who knew Yolène Jumelle well, spoke about the impact that this remarkable woman had on those around her and, more broadly, on Quebec. “For all the people who were part of the first wave of Haitian immigration in the 60s and 70s, Yolène Jumelle symbolized the everyday fight for justice, dignity and human rights. She understood the importance of integration, inclusion, respect and dialogue. She embodied these values in everything she accomplished. This passage, which now bears her name, helps enter her efforts and contribution into our collective history.”

The idea of naming this symbolic passage after Ms. Jumelle arose following a call for proposals and in the spirit of the Ville de Montréal’s Toponym’Elles operation to increase the visibility of women in Montréal place names. Located in a former industrial zone converted into a residential area, the passage connects Rue Buchan and Rue Jean-Talon Ouest in the Le Triangle neighbourhood. This passage provides a link between the Namur metro station and the heart of the neighbourhood, but it also represents, in a more symbolic way, the connection that Yolène Jumelle forged between her communities of origin and her adopted society.

“Ms. Jumelle represents the spirit of our borough, which is to build bridges and links between several communities for the benefit of all,” says Ms. Katahwa. “I am honoured that a passage in the borough of which I am mayor bears her name.”

SOURCE Ville de Montréal – Arrondissement de Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

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