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Gladys Lynn Jones (who goes by Lynn) is an African-Canadian woman born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia. Lynn was raised by her parents, Willena and Elmer Jones, in a large family, which includes her brother, lawyer and activist Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones. Her grandfather was Jeremiah Jones, a decorated World War I veteran. Growing up, Lynn was active in her local church, a musician, and an athlete (competing in the 1969 Canada Summer Games).
Lynn came to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the early 1970s, where she studied at Dalhousie University through the Transition Year Program (TYP), and earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree. She then pursued a long career as a Federal Public Service employee, working at the Canadian Employment Centre. During this time, Lynn became an active union member and advocate, and the first Black person to join the executive ranks of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). She was also a National Vice-President of the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU). As part of the CLC delegation, in 1994, Lynn traveled to South Africa as an election observer in the first free elections (which saw the election of Nelson Mandela). In 1993 Lynn became the first Canadian-born African Canadian women to run in a Canadian Federal Election, as the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the Halifax riding.
Throughout her life, Lynn has been active in the pursuit of justice, working tireless for many causes and organizations that seek to eradicate racism, secure human rights, and achieve fair labour practices. She has been honoured with many awards including the Queen's Medal, the Congress of Black Women of Canada’s Women of Excellence award, and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour Human Rights Award. In 2016, she was recognized with an Honorary Doctorate from Acadia University. Since her retirement from Public Service in 2011, Lynn continues to be active. She is currently the Chair of the Global African Congress (Nova Scotia Chapter), which seeks reparations for the Atlantic Slave Trade.