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Remembering Nerene Virgin

Jan 22, 2024

The College of Early Childhood Educators (the College) mourns the passing on January 15, 2024 of Nerene Virgin, who was one of the first public members appointed to the Council when the College was formed in 2009. She served on Council for 10 years until 2019.

Nerene was a former teacher, media personality, and journalist and was the co-founder and President of Cabinda Consulting, a firm dedicated to educating organizations on how to foster inclusive environments that build a sense of belonging for all.

As one of the few racialized members of the Council at the time, she drew from her own experiences of racism, stereotypes and exclusion throughout her career to inform important conversations that would ultimately benefit the early childhood education profession as well as the children of Ontario.

While serving on the College’s Complaints, Registration Appeals and Executive Committees, she brought her unique perspective to the issues and cases considered, encouraging others to critically reflect on the potential for racism and bias.

Beyond her work as a Council member, Nerene was instrumental in guiding and implementing the College’s Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racism by building inclusive governance practices.

Education played a big role in Nerene’s life. “It’s through education that we open minds. We open hearts. We open people’s eyes”, she told us in a March 2022 interview  .“That was a golden opportunity for me to educate others on Council as they were educating me.”

We are deeply grateful for Nerene’s courage, compassion, dedication and lasting contributions to the profession and the sector. We extend our deepest sympathies to her friends and family during this time.

Learn more about the life and work of Nerene: