Karine Morin (BA ’91 Translation & Women’s Studies)

Karine Morin (BA ’91 Translation & Women’s Studies)

Shattering ceilings to advocate for social justice


Title: Justice of the Peace, Minister of the Attorney General

When it comes to helping people in need, Karine Morin has never shied away from taking on a challenge, having a difficult conversation or venturing where others have not. And from her time as a student at Glendon Campus to becoming the first French-speaking Black woman appointed as Justice of the Peace in Ontario, she has proudly embodied that spirit throughout her academic and professional career. 

“From a very young age, I felt a natural calling to stand up for those whose voices need and deserve to be heard, including my own,” said Karine. “Whether from following the example of great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. or my father’s sage advice about there never being a problem without a solution, I always knew I had a part to play in social justice. Glendon allowed me the opportunity to transform that passion into a career.”

Growing up in small-town, rural Québec, Karine immediately fell in love with the natural beauty of the campus and was captivated by its proximity to the bustling, English-speaking metropolis of Toronto. At the same time, Glendon’s vibrant international profile was something she coveted as a first-generation Haitian-Canadian.

“Not only did Glendon offer a translation program, but its multicultural community allowed me to learn about diverse people from different countries and cultures and with vastly different experiences from mine while also discovering my own identity. Beyond this, the ability to pursue a bilingual education in both English and French was a unique experience not offered by other institutions and has set me apart throughout my career.”

While at Glendon, Karine demonstrated the impact of her early social justice work by taking the lead on several initiatives that advocated for Francophone minorities and immigrants, particularly women. This included organizing International Women’s Week, the International Culture Annual Gala Event, and Glendon’s first conference on violence against women for francophone immigrant families.

“Whether on campus or in the world around us, there are immense, unique challenges that face these women. My goal was to create a safe space where we could have open and honest conversations about real issues, where they could feel heard and that their concerns were taken seriously, and where solutions were welcomed and encouraged. And from the top down, Glendon made this type of environment possible.”

Karine continued her efforts after graduation, putting her education, expertise and passion for social justice into action in bilingual roles with agencies such as Kids Help Phone and the Oasis Centre des Femmes, as well as theVictim Witness Assistance Programme with the Ministry of Attorney General, where she participated in the first-ever court tribunal for abused children. Today, as she hears cases daily through her position as Justice of the Peace, she’s in a prime position to affect change for a generation that needs it more than ever.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for working on mental health cases, particularly for our young people who are so vulnerable to its most dangerous impacts, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. Too many these days are losing their identities and even their lives, and it is rewarding to know that my work can make a difference.”

As she continues bringing about positive change for those in need, Karine also reflects on what she has learned as a trailblazer among Black and Francophone people in a primarily Anglophone society. “I’ve discovered the importance of embracing life and all its amazing opportunities and possibilities. By always going towards the challenges instead of hiding from them, particularly in those formative years, there is no limit to what you can achieve.”


Where is your favourite city in the world and why?

Jacmel on the southern coast of Haiti—that’s my home. My mother’s family is from there and, from the mountains to the seas, there is nothing quite like it.

What is your favourite hobby?

I love music in all its forms—and particularly the many genres my father introduced me to! Whether Kompa, R&B, gospel, classical or African music, or even country, rap or rock-and-roll, hearing those melodies as you’re going about your day or sitting around a fire is good for the soul. 

If you had one, what would be your motto?

“Don’t go through it by yourself.” We all need a helping hand occasionally and we can’t be afraid to ask for it.

What is your greatest achievement thus far?

Raising my three amazing sons.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I just want to be known as someone who lived life well and enjoyed all the good it offered. When someone thinks of me, I want that to bring them joy because of how I chose to walk through the world.