All Welcome Here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 7:58 PM

I met Judith Burfoot last year at Karen Palmer's annual “Cheesus, is it Spring Yet?!?” event and was thrilled to learn that she owned the cutest little one-room, circa 1875, schoolhouse ever – located on County Road 7. Every time I had driven by this gorgeous schoolhouse in the past - I kept thinking that someone should do something cool with it, and it turns out that Judith DID do something cool with it. She restored the schoolhouse, called it Schoolhouse 77 and now offers local farm produce, reclaimed furnishings and eclectic finds. 

She also has done something else that is truly remarkable. Last year (2019), she founded the not-for-profit BIPOC-led All Welcome Here (AWH). According to the AWH Facebook page, 1,250 or 5% of PEC residents identify themselves as People of Colour (POC) and she rightly saw the need for rural POC to have a space to connect and network. She also saw a need in the wider County community for anti-racism work so she formed this organization to address these concerns.

When George Floyd’s shocking murder sparked the current worldwide BLM reckoning, Judith rose to the occasion by organizing a hugely successful and peaceful BLM demonstration that attracted over 1,000 people to our small town of Picton. It was an incredibly emotional experience on many levels, and to see so many come out in loving support of the BIPOC community made me feel very proud to live here. 

There CLEARLY still is so much anti-racism work to be done in our world, but I am grateful to have someone like Judith here in PEC to offer her leadership and support to people who identify as POC. And, like so many others, I personally want to learn more and do better and while it is not her role to educate us - Judith has created a thoughtful and enlightening platform. As a way of saying thanks to her, I wanted to personally shout her out and pay tribute here in this space. Thank you very much, Judith, for all that you are doing – your leadership is so greatly appreciated!!

Click here to learn more about All Welcome Here.

Click here to learn more about Schoolhouse 77.