CPAC Institute Presents EDI Awards at Its Centennial Remembrance of Chinese Exclusion Act

June 20, TORONTO – Two weeks prior to the exact date of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act, CPAC hosted a public forum to remember this infamous piece of racist legislation and recognize champions for the advancement of equity, diversity and inclusion, and anti-racism.

The Chinese Exclusion Act, officially known as the Chinese Immigration Act, 1923, was passed on July 1, 1923, Dominion Day, now called Canada Day, following 38 years of the exclusionary Chinese Head Tax. The Chinee Exclusion Act banned the entry of Chinese immigrants for 24 years and caused countless family tragedies. Chinese Canadians referred to July 1 as “Humiliation Day” and refused to participate in its celebrations for many years.  

About a hundred academic, community and corporate leaders from various ethnic and professional backgrounds attended the centenary event, which featured a keynote speech by well-known racist exclusion and antiracism education expert Tim Stanley, professor emeritus of University of Ottawa. Stanley’s presentation was extremely eye-opening for most in the audience, which recalled the history of discrimination, suffering, resilience and contributions of Chinese Canadians throughout a century of systemic anti-Chinese racism, which continues to confront us today. 

A main part of the centennial remembrance event was the presentation of CPAC Institute’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Awards, which recognize outstanding Canadians, in any region of the country, who have made significant contributions to the advancement of human rights, equal access, equity, diversity and inclusion.

“We aim to raise public awareness about the history and ongoing struggle against racism,” said Ti Wang, President of CPAC. “We also want to acknowledge the contributions of some exceptional leaders who have led the fight against racism, exclusion and inequity, so that their influence can be amplified and their work emulated and expanded.” 

The recipients of the 2023 EDI Award were Wendy Cukier, Founder and Director of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Diversity Institute, and Teresa Woo-Paw, former Alberta cabinet minister and current Chair of the ACCT Foundation and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

Cukier has authored more than 200 articles on aspects of diversity, inclusion and innovation. The Diversity Institute she leads focuses on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship. She also leads the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, which promotes inclusive supports for women and other diverse entrepreneurs, and the Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Network. The DiversityLeads project under her leadership examines the representation and experience of racialized Canadians in senior leadership roles in all major cities across Canada and helped shape Bill C-25 and the 50-30 Challenge.  

Woo-Paw has been an agent for change within the system and a leader on the ground in the communities. She is a tireless advocate for EDI for over 45 years and has built eight non-profit organizations to serve and advocate for the marginalized communities. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations and worked with hundreds, always trying to raise awareness, increase capacity and effect systemic changes towards a more equitable and inclusive society. Her impact has been seen in the government, education, healthcare, police and social service sectors. She is the driver behind the National Remembrance Event of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the designation of the Exclusion of Chinese Immigrants as an event of national historic significance.  

About the CPAC Institute

The CPAC Institute is an independent research, education and training organization that provides research-based support for the understanding and elimination of systemic racism and barriers to equity, diversity and inclusion and for addressing specific issues concerning the well-being of Chinese Canadians. For more information, please visit

From left: Ti Wang, President of CPAC, Wendy Cukier, Teresa Woo-Paw, Tim Stanley, Senator Yuen-Pau Woo

Video link to Keynote speech by Tim Stanley, Centennial Remembrance of Chinese Exclusion Act, CPAC Institute

Recipients’ Biographies: