Rachel Décoste
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

A Black James Bond: Advancement or Albatross?

(48) Comments | Posted March 29, 2015 | 10:52 PM

His name is Bond.

James Bond. 

Or, how about Tyrone Bond? 

The fictional Secret Service agent for the British MI6 has captivated audiences for half a century. Bond is also known by his code number, 007.

Writer Ian Fleming created a character in his own image: Caucasian, male,...

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Canada's TV News Networks Have a Diversity Problem

(9) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 1:07 PM

CBC Television went national in 1958. The CTV Television Network followed three years later. Both TV networks have grown into a Canadian staples. Over a half century, consumer habits have changed. But have the networks evolved with the changing face of the viewership?

CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais recently outlined...

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Why We Need Better Dark-Skinned Dolls

(3) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 4:38 PM

Both American and Canadian media have showcased the new wave of ethnic Barbie-sized dolls. The culturally-attuned figurines fill the gaping void in a transforming consumer base.

For Queen Cee Robinson of Hamilton, ON, the search for "a doll that resembled her daughter" was...

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Success Comes in All Shapes, Colours and Sizes

(5) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 11:35 AM

For two decades, the Screen Actors Guild has been highlighting its members' best performances. The annual gala isn't as white as the 2015 Oscar nominees, but it's pretty close.‎ ‎

Over 21 SAG award ceremonies, only ‎seven non-white actresses have ever garnered a nomination...

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Sir John A. Macdonald: 5 Frightening Facts About Our First Prime Minister

(120) Comments | Posted January 18, 2015 | 12:20 PM

As Canada commemorated the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald on Jan. 11, CBC personality Shelagh Rogers shared her thoughts online:

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CBC Personalities Minimized Canada's Role in 'The Book of Negroes'

(20) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 8:55 PM

Canada's national public broadcaster, CBC, has collaborated with none other than Black Entertainment Television (BET) to produce an epic $10-million television miniseries about a woman's 18th century journey from Africa to the Americas and back. Based on the acclaimed historical novel by Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes...

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The 10 Most Racist Incidents of 2014: Canadian Edition

(68) Comments | Posted January 3, 2015 | 9:47 AM

As the year winds down, news readers are treated with a feast of annual compilations. From fashion to finances it is a time to look back at the hits and misses.

In quintessential Canadian style, the subject of race relations is missing from the roster. Every year. Until...

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What's Wrong With Whoopi?

(8) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 4:38 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 | 4:49 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 | 12:12 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 | 12:46 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

(14) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 5:35 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 | 12:56 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 | 12:44 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 | 5:52 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 | 12:59 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 | 9:15 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 | 5:38 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 | 11:46 AM

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 | 6:06 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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