HAMLIN Grange is overwhelmed with pride after being listed as a recipient of the Order of Canada for his pioneering work in diversity and inclusion, as a passionate change agent for social justice.
Grange, who is the president of DiversiPro Inc — a workplace diversity training, coaching, and consulting company — said he had to remain tight-lipped about the news before it was officially announced.
“It feels great. I found out three weeks ago and had to basically keep it a secret as the Governor General’s office wanted to announce it first,” Grange told the Jamaica Observer as he chuckled.
“Now that it’s out, I see the congratulatory messages coming from my friends, colleagues and total strangers. I am really honoured and very pleased,” he said.
Grange, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and is the brother of Minister of Sports, Culture and Gender Olivia “Babsy” Grange, started his consulting company 22 years ago, in an effort to assist organisations with meeting challenges and reaping rewards of a culturally diverse marketplace.
He said that career journey started after spending several years in media serving as assignment editor, municipal affairs reporter, host, interviewer, and news anchor at CBC Television, and reporter at Global Television and Toronto Star.
Grange also hosted two popular television current affairs programmes Workweek on CBC Newsworld and TVOntario and CBC’s More to the Story and was also co-host of Good Evening Jamaica.
He noted that much of his work done in his consulting company was influenced by his experience in media.
“I think what has driven my work and passion is the deep sense of curiosity. That curiosity about how people treat other people and how organisations treat their employees. Those things have really driven the work that I do,” he said.
Pointing out how he has been a positive agent for social justice, Grange said he and his wife Cynthia Reyes established Innoversity and Innoversity Creative Summit, which for more than a decade brought together creators and producers from diverse backgrounds with key decision-makers in the Canadian media to share ideas and showcase the vast array of talent available to Canada’s mainstream broadcasters.
“We did this for 14 years and it was our attempt and belief that bringing together producers of colour — people who have been under-represented in the Canadian media, to make change in the media landscape,” he said, noting that his wife has played an important part in his personal and professional growth.
“I believe we have been able to bring about social change because the media is such an important part of this process and if we really want to make societal change, I believe we have to change how the media interacts with those who are less fortunate,” he added.
As he aims to improve his business with an online portal to offer training and courses to individuals and businesses, Grange admits that being recognised for his career efforts has taught him an important lesson.
“The most immediate lesson is that if you believe in something and you’re passionate about it and you are true to that passion, eventually others will see that passion and see where it is coming from and what propels you. I have to continue to do what I believe is true for me and not be distracted by things that may not be true to myself,” he said.
Other honours he received include The Queen’s Jubilee Medal (Community Service), The African Canadian Achievement Award, Harry Jerome Awards (President’s Award) and awards from the New York and Houston International Film and Video Festivals.
On December 29, 2022, Governor General of Canada Mary Simon announced 99 new appointments to the Order of Canada, including two Companions, 32 Officers and 65 Members.
The Order of Canada, which was developed in 1967, has honoured more than 7,600 people.