Raising Student Voice: Speaking Out for Equity and Justice

​Emily Murphy (née Ferguson, pen name Janey Canuck), writer, journalist, magistrate, political and legal reformer (born 14 March 1868 in Cookstown, ON; died 27 October 1933 in Edmonton, AB).

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Emily Murphy is best known as a , particularly for her role in the famous . On her first day as a magistrate, she was challenged by a lawyer who asserted that as a woman she was not a person in the eyes of British law. This led Murphy to embark on a decade-long campaign to have women declared legal "persons" and therefore eligible for appointive positions, including that of . With the support of four other Alberta women, , , and , she carried the Persons Case to the Privy Council in Britain, which ruled in a celebrated judgement in 1929 that women were indeed persons under the . The long-sought Senate appointment eluded Murphy, however, and she died in Edmonton of diabetes in 1933. (See also .)

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Scholars continue to debate Murphy’s beliefs about race and immigration; some condemn her for racist and imperial views while others argue that her main concern was the drug trade itself and that any discussion of her beliefs should also consider the systemic (or widespread) racism of the time.

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Like several other early feminists, including , Murphy publicly supported negative eugenics. According to sociologist Jana Grekul, Murphy warned that the unfit were “becoming vastly more populous than those we designate as the ‘upper crust.’ This is why it is altogether likely that the upper crust with its delicious plums and dash of cream is likely to become at any time a mere toothsome morsel for the hungry, the abnormal, the criminals and the posterity of insane paupers.” As a judge, Murphy had considerable influence in , and her public support of eugenic policies likely contributed to the passage of Alberta’s Sexual Sterilization Act in 1928.

2018 NCTE Annual Convention "Raising Student Voice: Speaking Out for Equity and Justice"

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In the book, Murphy discusses the involvement of Chinese, Assyrians, Greeks and “Negroes” in the drug trade. At the time, there was considerable concern about immigration (particularly Chinese immigration) in western Canada. Murphy’s comments likely reflected and contributed to these concerns. Yet she also condemned Anglo-Saxons for their role in the drug trade. In The Black Candle (pp. 150–51), she states the following:

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Murphy combined family life, writing and a multitude of reform activities in the interests of women and children. In 1911, responding to persistent public pressure organized by Murphy, the Alberta legislature passed the , which protected a wife's right to a one-third share in her husband's property. Murphy was also prominent in the movement, as well as a long-time executive member of the (president 1913–20), the , the (first national president) and over 20 other professional and volunteer organizations.

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By virtue of the College´s emphasis on early career access and the success of every student, the Information and Communication Technology Center is also committed to building “human capital,” that is, providing the kind of education that contributes to individual success and well-being. We have state of the art computer facilities, over and above of offering Degree, Diploma , Certificate and Certification courses in ICT.