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Charles Brooks Award honours unionist with ties to migrant workers

November 19, 2021

Media Release

Windsor, ON – United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, in partnership with the Windsor & District Labour Council (WDLC), will host the 44th annual Virtual Labour Appreciation Night next week, honouring the recipient of the Charles E. Brooks Labour Community Service Award, Elizabeth Ha, OPSEU Local 154, who has most recently helped to support and advocate for local migrant workers.

This year’s virtual event will take place on November 24, 2021 and will feature, not only the distinguished service award presentation, but a keynote address from Chris Ramsaroop, co-founder and organizer with the activist group Justicia for Migrant Workers.

Elizabeth Ha OPSEU Local 154
Elizabeth Ha

Elizabeth Ha is a community activist at heart, serving as the 1st Vice President of OPSEU Local 154, the Chair of the OPSEU Provincial Human Rights Committee, the Vice Chair of the OPSEU Coalition of Racialized Workers, and as the OFL Equity Vice President. Ha is also on the WDLC Executive and is a member of the Advisory Board of Our Times labour magazine.

Ha is a devoted mother to Nola and Ruby and she teaches her children that serving your community is important and necessary.  She has a mission and a voice for change, she strives to empower racialized workers by promoting workers’ rights and social justice, and advocating for corrective action on policies, laws, and regulations. As a member of the Justicia for Migrant Workers, she collects and delivers food, clothing and personal care items for migrant workers and organizes community dinners, workshops and demonstrations, championing their rights. 

“Elizabeth Ha stands up for people without a voice, and has been supporting racialized workers from across the province for years,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO, United Way. “Ha’s activism, especially her compassion and conviction for supporting local migrant workers, is leaving a mark on the Windsor-Essex County advancement of social justice, and we wish her our sincerest congratulations on her achievements.” 

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County and the Windsor & District Labour Council co-created the Charles E. Brooks Community Service Award, which is presented annually to a trade unionist in recognition of outstanding contributions in the area of voluntary community service.

“Charles Brooks was dedicated to community service and activism and we celebrate his legacy annually by recognizing local Labour leaders. Elizabeth Ha is charting a path for a new generation of activists in the Labour movement,” says Mario Spagnuolo, President of the Windsor and District Labour Council.

EVENT DETAILS: Event registration is now closed. The Virtual Presentation runs from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Contact Leilani Logronio, Manager of Labour Programs and Services at United Way at for more event information.

Contact Karen Brady for recipient contact information if you wish to pre-interview Elizabeth Ha or if members of the media wish to attend the virtual event.

Media Contact: Karen Brady, Marketing & Communications Manager, United Way  |  M: 519-564-8554
Twitter @UnitedWayWE  #Brooks21   |  Facebook: United Way Windsor-Essex | Instagram: UnitedWayWE 

Chris Ramsaroop – Keynote Speaker Biography

Chris Ramsaroop was chosen in collaboration with our award recipient Elizabeth Ha as someone who inspired her as an activist. Chris has a Master of Education degree in Sociology and Equity Studies and is working to complete his PhD at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.  He is also an Instructor in the Caribbean Studies program at the University of Toronto, a Migrant Workers Clinic Instructor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, and is the co-founder and organizer with the activist group Justicia for Migrant workers, a grassroots collective that has been organizing with migrant workers for nearly 20 years.  Justicia’s work is based on building long term trust and relationships with migrant workers and includes engaging in direct actions, working with workers to resist at work, launching precedent-setting legal cases, and organizing numerous collective actions.

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