Daniel Grafton Hill III: A Symposium on His Life and Work


Daniel Grafton (Dan) Hill III was the first Director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a pioneer in the field of African Canadian history, and a social activist. In the post-war period, he and his wife, Donna Hill, helped to build a social movement of Black, Jewish, labour and religious communities in the struggle for racial equality which led to the enactment of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. In keeping with its mandate of “Spotlighting and Promoting African Canadian Experiences,” the SPACE Initiative in the Harriet Tubman Institute (in cooperation with the Ontario Black History Society) hosted a one day symposium, on September 25, 2010, which focused on the life and work of Daniel Grafton Hill III and its relevance to African Canadian issues today.

The symposium included four sessions, each of which analysed a specific aspect of the life and work of Daniel Grafton Hill III and their relevance today. The first session focused on his personal life, with commentaries and readings from his children and anecdotes from friends and family. The second session was a dialogue about the post-war activist campaign that led to the outlawing of racial discrimination in Ontario and its relevance to activism today. The third session presented a retrospective on the study of African Canadian history, from the pioneering work of Daniel Grafton Hill III and the Ontario Black History Society, to the state of African-Canadian history today. The final session was a round table discussion on racism, human rights and activism from the work of Dan and Donna Hill to the present.

Symposium Video

Dan Hill e-book