On Nov. 5, a few days after completing her tenure as trustee of the English Montreal School Board, Marlene Jennings took the mantle at the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) an umbrella organization of English-language groups across the province.
The 69 year-old Jennings was elected president in an online annual general meeting, defeating the long serving Geoffrey Chambers.
In a statement on the QCGN’s website, she talked about rebuilding ties among groups within the network following a fractious period when several organizations walked away from the Network for various reasons.
“… (A) top priority for me as newly elected QCGN is to open closed doors, walk through it and begin an open, respectful dialogue with all former members…”
Jennings, a Montrealer and a lawyer by training is the first Black person to lead the QCGN. She was quoted about opening up the Network to new groups, with a focus on including young Anglophones under its umbrella.
In 1997, she became the first Black Quebecer to be elected as a Member of Parliament, serving as Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine between until 2011.