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Wanda MacNevin (1950-), social worker, activist and author, lived and worked in the Jane and Finch community for sixty years. Born in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island, she moved with her family to Ontario in 1955 and spent her childhood years on the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Downsview, where her father was stationed. She moved to a public housing complex at 15 Tobermory Drive in the 1970s as a single mother of three children. Aware of the rapid growth of the Jane-Finch community and the lack of social services in the area, MacNevin began working with the Black Creek Venture Group in 1975.
She was a founding board member of the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre when it opened in 1976. Her education in social work was nurtured by York University’s Bridging Program for Women, which began classes in 1981. From 1991 to 2003, she worked as a program manager at Black Creek Community Health Centre and developed programs and services that supported teenage mothers and seniors. She returned as a Program Manager at the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre in 2003 and retired as its Director of Community Programs in 2016.
MacNevin received Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her lifelong social work in 2016. In 2017, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by York University for her social work and her contributions to collaborations between the Jane/Finch Community and the university.
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