Beatrice Watson has devoted both her working and personal life to ensuring peace, equality and justice for all, especially for immigrant and refugee women.
As a human rights officer with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, Watson has spoken to hundreds of Manitoba newcomers, primarily women, about their rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code. As part of the Immigrant Women’s Association of Manitoba, she has worked to see that the needs of immigrant and refugee women are recognized today, to ensure a better quality of life for them and their families.
Watson is the community town crier, keeping the community informed of matters of interest to the Black and Caribbean communities, in particular. She is the founder of Global Eyes Magazine, a quarterly publication carrying news of the activities, contributions and concerns of Manitoba’s African and Caribbean communities. It also highlights activities of other community organizations, especially women’s organizations, in the campaign for peace and equality for all. In 1990, the first Global Eyes was published. Watson has now taken to social media to share useful and inspiring insights with her readers.
The author of the novel Poison of my Hate, Watson’s writings can be found in numerous newspapers, including the Winnipeg Free Press, London Free Press, and the Toronto Sun. She is a storyteller at heart.
Originally from Guyana, Watson has called Manitoba home for more than 30 years. She continues to be a strong advocate in the African and Caribbean communities and her community work illustrates her ability to make strong linkages to other communities, in outstanding ways.
Watson has a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology and women’s studies from the University of Manitoba; Radio, TV and Journalism Diploma from Lambton College in Sarnia. Ontario; Management Certificate for Women from University of Manitoba; Mediator Diploma from Mediation Services and certificates in areas such as workshop facilitation in anti-racism, self-empowerment and was an original facilitators in Circles for Reconciliation. Watson is an inspiring public speaker.
Among the honours bestowed upon her, she was the 2013 recipient of the Manitoba Women Advisory Council and the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg Eira Babs Friesen Lifetime Achievement Award; the Black History Month Human Rights Award and Community Award; and, The Guyanese Cultural Organization Community Involvement Award.
Watson’s long-standing volunteer involvement in the community has also included the Congress of Black Women, the Legal Education Action Fund for Women (LEAF), and the Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre and Mediation Services (Winnipeg). She has supported, mentored and guided many young women in the community, encouraging them to follow their dreams. She believes in a community where we all live in harmony, as equals, respectful of all other cultures and beliefs.
The motto that guides her life comes from the Baha’i Faith: “We are flowers of one garden and leaves of one tree.” Watson vows to continue working for the unity of all people, equality and justice for all. Watson believes we have to work to ensure that our human rights are respected.