Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice:
My generation will be forever indebted to the courageous leadership of Dudley Laws over the last three decades, especially during the 1980s and 1990s in standing up for our community in the face of opposition and hostility and for speaking up for those of us that were unable to speak up for ourselves or for the young men who were prematurely taken away from us.
Dudley has always been a tireless fighter and advocate for justice, equality and Human Rights, and I attribute directly to the efforts of Dudley Laws, the progress that we now see in the relationship between the Police and the Black Community, as well as the efforts on the part of various Police Services to recruit and promote Black officers.
Dudley’s legacy will forever live on in the rest of us who continues to stand on his shoulders.
Kingsley Gilliam, the former National Vice Chairman of the National Black Coalition of Canada, Founder of the Edmonton and Calgary Chapters and past president of the Edmonton Chapter 1981-1984 called Dudley Laws “… an outstanding Garveyite, anti-racist, anti-oppression fighter for the African Diaspora in Canada, Great Britain and around the world.
He speaks for me and millions of Blacks and oppressed peoples around the world.
For over a half of a century he has tirelessly given of himself, his talents and his resources sacrificially, for the benefit of his community and his race.
His resounding oratory, quoting profound statements of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, has been an inspiration to me personally.
Dudley Laws is my hero, icon, warrior, champion and mentor. I have been very fortunate, privileged and honored to have participated with him in a fraction of the numerous struggles he has championed.
Dr. Dorothy Wills is a founding Board Member, 1st Executive Secretary and a former President of the National Black Coalition of Canada which operated nationally from 1969 to 1984. She is also a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board. She is originally from Dominica and lives in Montreal.
She said “the Canadian landscape will never be the same, for your having immigrated …” to Canada.
Because of your efforts, we have a richer more humane society, cognizant of the needs of minorities in general and our Black Community in particular. Canadian society has benefitted from your presence.
“Someone once said: “Men who live in a society succeed or fail together”. Many of us owe our success to your efforts. Many walked the paths that you prepared, while others stood upon your strong shoulders.
Dr. Clarence Bayne, is President of the Black Studies Center, and the Quebec Board of Black Educators, Montreal, Que. He is also Director of the Institute for Community Entrepreneurship and Development, JMSB, Concordia, and a founding member and former National chairman of the National Black coalition of Canada. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he resides in Montreal, Quebec.
“If the flags do not flap your image in the Canadian wind, if the country’s stamps do not engrave your ebony face, if the pens of historians dried up before you began your strut upon this stage, be not dismayed because the good that you have done will not be hidden under a bushel.
“We as a people are the sum total of individual actions and contributions. And you are a major contributor to who we are today.”
“Your voice continues to resonate through the network of friendships and kinships that diverse communities of Canadian Blacks have created over the last 60 years. There are still histories to be written, stories to be told, poems to be created that must spotlight the footprints in the sand of those like you who have given so much and asked so little in return.”
Professor John Harewood is a former Professor of Classics at the University of Ottawa and a member of the National Black Coalition of Canada. He has authored research report on the Contribution of the National Black Coalition of Canada and its impact and its sphere of influence on Black Life in Canada.
“For all the years that I have known him, Dudley remained a personality of whose presence one was always aware, admittedly because of his distinctive beret, but certainly for his courage, commitment and consistency.
“Here was a man who understood that the true test of one’s belief in a principle was the courage one showed in facing the obstacles that might have to be overcome to transform it into reality. So he often took risks which might have seemed irrational or to endanger his own person, but were eventually seen to have been necessary for combating injustice and creating opportunities for change.
“All who knew him quickly realized his commitment to the eradication of racial discrimination in any form, thereafter, to see him in action was to watch his relentless pursuit of that goal. He saw this as the first step to bringing dignity to the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged, especially in a society which was classified by others and classified itself as “developed.
“Since the late sixties, it became the passion which defined him as a Garveyite, member of the National Black Coalition of Canada or of any community organization which shared his vision.
Dudley’s life-long consistency in service to others is a quality which we may all profitably emulate and for which, today and always, we offer him our heart-felt gratitude.”
Dr. Howard McCurdy is Founding President of the National Black Coalition of Canada and former Member of Parliament and a former Biology Professor at the University of Windsor. He is a Black Canadian whose ancestors came to Canada via the Underground Railroad.
“None can deny or fail to honour the sustained and unequivocal commitment of Dudley Laws to the struggle against racism and for the advancement of our Diaspora.
“I am pleased to add my voice to the many in praise and appreciation for his lifetime of sacrifice and accomplishment.”