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The Fred Upshaw Scholarship

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Application deadline extended to July 30, 2021

OPSEU/SEFPO is pleased to announce the creation of the Fred Upshaw Scholarship in honour of Fred Upshaw.

As OPSEU/SEFPO’s President from 1990-1995, Upshaw was the first Black President of a major Canadian union. This scholarship will be offered annually, to commemorate his tireless advocacy on behalf of working people and social justice for all.

Upshaw was a registered nurse at the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital and a member of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 331. He rose through the union ranks as a steward and eventually local president. In 1980, he was elected to the OPSEU/SEFPO Executive Board and served for several years, then elected as First-Vice President/Treasurer in 1984, prior to being elected President. A fervent human rights activist to the core, Upshaw championed employment equity during his time as President.

Who can apply:

The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to dependents of racialized OPSEU/SEFPO members in good standing who are pursuing studies in labour relations and/or social justice and human rights and are studying at a publicly-funded, publicly-run post-secondary institution in Ontario. The application deadline is now extended to July 30, 2021

How to apply:

The following submissions together with your completed application form must be received by OPSEU/SEFPO by email or mail on or before the application deadline (see application form for mailing and email addresses).  Applications received after July 30, 2021, will not be considered.

  • This application, completed fully
  • 1,500 word essay responding to the following question. Your response may be a 1,500 word essay, or a photo series, short video, poem, audio file or visual art piece.

Why is worker activism and union involvement important to make meaningful health and safety improvements in the workplace?

  • Summary of your recent community, union, or other volunteer work, which helps to build awareness of workplace, community or environmental health and safety.

Fred Upshaw Scholarship application-July 30 extension