Short Listed Names

Shortlisted Names

Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott


Dr. Anderson Ruffin Abbott, Canada’s first black doctor, was born in 1837. Although born in Toronto into a wealthy family, he travelled to the United States to work as one of only eight black surgeons in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Because of segregation he was only allowed to look after black troops.

Through his work, he befriended President Abraham Lincoln and treated him after he was shot. While he worked in the United States for part of his life, he also lived in Chatham and Dundas, Ontario where he became the first black coroner in Canada. He retired in Toronto where he had a primary residence on Dowling Avenue until 1903, and died in 1913.

Through wisdom, medicine, thoughtful written words, teaching, and rights activism, Canada’s first black doctor dedicated his life to safeguarding racial freedom.

Dr. Rita Cox


Dr. Rita Cox was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1939. She worked at the Toronto Public Library for 35 years. She began as a children’s librarian in 1960 and eventually became the manager of the Parkdale Branch. She launched literacy programs and other initiatives that promote multiculturalism throughout Toronto.

A librarian by profession, she is admired as a storyteller and leader in the community. There are four branches of the Toronto Public Library where The Rita Cox Black and Caribbean Heritage Collection is available - Parkdale, Yorkwoods, Maria A. Schuka and Malvern. It features over 16,000 books, DVDs, CDs, newspapers and magazines for adults, children, and teens. It is recognized as one of the most significant heritage collections in Canada.

She also founded Parkdale Project Read (PPR) in 1977. It’s a non-profit with a community-based literacy program and adult learning centre.

Dr. Cox has received many awards for her work. Both Wilfrid Laurier University and York University have awarded her honorary doctorates. Dr. Cox was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding work in storytelling and literacy. After her retirement from the library, Dr. Cox was appointed a Citizenship Court Judge by the Government of Canada.


Dr. Martin Luther King Junior

Dr. Martin Luther King Junior was an American religious leader and civil-rights activist who lived from 1929 to 1968. He led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.

His leadership was fundamental to that movement’s success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. Dr. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the massive March on Washington (1963), to achieve civil rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.


Minogi – It Grows Well

Minogi is an Ojibway word meaning “it grows”.

There are many connections to the school:

  • Growth in learning
  • Growth from hardship
  • Growth because of the Queen Victoria Black Student Success Committee (QVBSSC) garden club and the learning that happens there
  • Growth of children

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama was born in 1964 in Chicago. She is an American attorney and author who served as the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She was the first African-American First Lady of the United States. She is the wife of former President Barack Obama.

As first lady, she focused her attention on social issues such as poverty, healthy living and education. She was a role model for women and an advocate for healthy families, service members and their families, higher education, and international adolescent girls education.

Prior to her role as first lady, Michelle Obama was a lawyer, Chicago city administrator and community-outreach worker.

Her 2018 memoir, Becoming, discusses the experiences that shaped her, from her childhood in Chicago to her years in the White House.