Rachel Décoste
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Rachel Décoste is a motivational speaker and software engineer born and raised in Ottawa. Fluently bilingual, Ms. Décoste, a daughter of immigrants, has been a community activist since her youth, working with organisations such as Children's Aid Society, S.O.S. Montfort Hospital, the Famous 5 Foundaton, the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund, to name a few. Her commitment has not been limited to local activities: she has traveled abroad to provide aid in Peru, El Salvador and Bolivia. In 2008, Ms. Décoste worked on then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign and again in 2012. Ms. Décoste was named in Ottawa's Top 50 Personalities in Ottawa Life magazine's 2010 annual edition.

Entries by Rachel Décoste

What's Wrong With Whoopi?

(2) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 5:38 PM

"Momma! There's a black lady on TV and she ain't no maid!"
That's what a young Caryn Johnson said when she first saw Nyota Uhura, a character in the original Star Trek series. Uhura was one of the first TV characters of African descent to be featured in...
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Caribbean Queen: Mia Love's Success Secret

(9) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 5:49 PM

Mia Love. First black woman to ascend to Republican member of Congress. She has just graduated from "Utah Conservative darling" to the national stage.

Mrs. Love's improbable journey from, anchor baby whose birth name is Ludmya Bourdeau, to GOP godsend is a testament to her dogged determination...

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What's Behind Vogue's Booty Blackout?

(4) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 1:12 PM

The word "booty" comes from the French butin. According to the "Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales", it is a set of material goods, slaves or prisoners plundered from the enemy in time of war.

Ensemble des biens matériels et des esclaves ou prisonniers pris...

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How the Labour Movement Has Failed

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 1:46 PM

You wouldn't know it from the tone of discourse today, but immigrants and foreign workers have been part of the Canadian labour force since Confederation. Then, much as now, they were necessary to ensure Canada's economic survival. Nevertheless, 19th century immigrant workers were viewed with suspicion and contempt,...

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The Habs and the Have-Nots: Why Subban Should Leave Canada

(15) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 6:35 PM

There was a time when Montrealers could overlook superficial and linguistic differences to rally around a groundbreaking sporting prodigy. Despite being black, anglophone and a foreigner, Jackie Robinson was, by all accounts, welcomed in Canada's then-largest city in 1946. Robinson played a single...

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NHL, Worry About Rigid Racial Lines Before Climate Change

(3) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 1:56 PM

The National Hockey League (NHL) just released its Sustainability Report, "to address the challenges [it] faces from an environmental perspective." In a show of self-preservation, the NHL is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint. You see, a large number of hockey greats started on outdoor...

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This Canadian Stood Up to Racism Before Rosa Parks

(5) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 1:44 PM

As a Verdun resident, Fred Christie follows the Habs, as do a legion of other Quebecers. The Montrealer is even a proud season-ticket holder.

Accompanied by two friends, Mr. Christie enters the tavern at the Canadiens' hockey area, plunks down some cash and orders a few beers. The bartender...

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Why Are There No Black Men on Argentina's Roster?

(150) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 6:52 PM

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup winds down, several news publications have released sociopolitical observations on Brazil and other World Cup-contending nations, including parallels to immigration and integration. These mind-bending pieces trace socio-political history through the lens of...

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Why Whoopi Was Wrong: The Myth of a Post-Racial Canada

(18) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 1:59 PM

The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg annotated Justin Bieber's videotaped use of the N-word. Ms. Goldberg attributed the then-pubescent Biebs' gaffe to his "youthful ignorance" and Canadian upbringing.

"You know -- Canadian words...N---r doesn't mean anything in Canada."

Goldberg bases her assessment of Canadian history and societal racism on the weeks...

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Did the Ethnic Vote Crush Pauline Marois?

(31) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 10:15 AM

The "next referendum" might be further out now that the Parti Québécois (PQ) has been defeated in Québec's provincial vote. In an acrimonious electoral cycle rife with corruption allegations, sexist innuendo, fraud accusations and racist demagoguery, few will come out unscathed. The misspoken candidates, the aspiring...

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RedBlacks, Redskins and Blackface

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 6:38 PM

The National Capital Region will soon welcome a new CFL football club. This will be the third time the team rises from its ashes: the Ottawa Rough Riders went bankrupt in 1996, and again in 2006 under the Renegades moniker. At the time, Franco-Ontarian football fans (and those in nearby...

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Has Steve Paikin Looked Hard Enough for Female Pundits?

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 12:46 PM

The Cloak of Invisibility is a magical artefact used to render the wearer invisible. It was the only known invisibility cloak that would not fade with age and would provide everlasting protection invisibility to the wearer. As such, it was the only Hallow known to have been successfully...
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These Racist Tweets About Subban Prove Canada's Not so Tolerant

(66) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 7:06 AM

If you think history was made when P.K. Subban hit the ice for the first time in the Valentine's Day Men's Hockey game in the Sochi Olympics, you're wrong. The first Black man to play for Team Canada was Quebec's Claude Vilgrain. The Caribbean-born immigrant donned...

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This Team Canada "Fan" Wore Blackface

(7) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 3:57 PM

Over the past few weeks, Canadians and sports fans the world around have learned about the Russian city of Sochi via reports from athletes and reporters alike. Eyebrows were raised when Canadian bobsledder Heather Moyse employed ingenuity to take an Epsom-salted bath in garbage bin.

The P.E.I....

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The Racist Truth About Canadian Immigration

(10) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 5:17 PM

Immigration can be a contentious file, and it is subject to fierce discussions because it perforates so many threads in the tapestry of Canada. PM Trudeau (re)shaped the country via his 1970s immigration reform. PM Harper recently mused that his legacy could be linked to the immigration file...

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Don't Just Talk About Diversity, Implement It

(3) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 12:16 PM

There's a series of pieces published in one of Canada's two national newspapers which endorse the ubiquitous whiteness in all spheres of society.

Multiple National Post articles dismissed diversity and inclusion ideas and policies for the Supreme Court ("No need for forced diversity on the bench"), the...

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Cry Me a River, Kanye!

(26) Comments | Posted January 19, 2014 | 9:44 PM

Hip-hop started in the streets of New York City in the 1970s. It was originally seen as something only popular in the black communities of America. The musical genre grew and expanded. Hip-Hop has became a global business, and images of young African-American men in

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P.K. Subban's Pesky Problem: Why the World's Best Defenseman Can't Win

(25) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 1:05 PM

Pernell Karl Subban. Hockey player. Born in Toronto, Canada. Like "the Great One", Subban started skating before he started school, guided by an enthusiastic father who had the sense to back the Habs despite residing in Hog Town. Subban is first-generation Canadian who embraced the national...

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Canadian Media Mangled Mandela's Legacy

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 11:50 AM

"I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an...
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Leaders Mourn Mandela But Miss His Message

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 5:17 PM

Rolihlahla "Nelson" Mandela is a global icon. His legendary ascension from prisoner to President is the stuff of fairy tales. The real life prince of racial equality has left his global family, but the global family must not leave Madiba's lifelong labour...

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