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Before Rosa Parks, there was Viola Desmond. She's the new face of Canada's $10 bill.

70 years after taking a defiant stance, Desmond's getting the recognition she deserves.

Before Rosa Parks, there was Viola Desmond. She's the new face of Canada's $10 bill.

Nearly a decade before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, there was Canadian civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond.

In 1946, Desmond, a Canadian businesswoman, was arrested and fined after she refused to leave the whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater. Her arrest and the legal battle that followed played a key role in Canada's civil rights movement.

Viola Desmond. Photo by Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University/Wanda Robson Collection.


70 years after taking a stand against segregation, Desmond is making history once again as the first woman — who isn't a queen or princess — to appear on Canadian money.

On Thursday, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz announced that Desmond will be featured on the $10 bill beginning in 2018.

"As governor of the bank, I have long believed that it was time for a woman, in addition to Her Majesty, to be on one of Canada’s bank notes," he said during a ceremony. "And we also heard from Canadians who told us that it was long overdue."

(From left) Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, Minister of Status of Women Patricia Hajdu, Wanda Robson (Desmond's sister), and Minister of Finance Bill Morneau unveil an image of Viola Desmond on Dec. 8, 2016. Photo by Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury announced some changes of its own, with plans to put Harriet Tubman on the $20.

In April, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced changes to the $5, $10, and $20 bills. The most notable change had Andrew Jackson getting bumped from the front of the $20 to make room for Tubman, abolitionist and "conductor" of the Underground Railroad. Jackson would still appear on the bill, albeit on the back. But for the first time in U.S. history, a black woman would appear on paper currency.

While women have been featured on U.S. money in the past — Martha Washington briefly appeared on the $1 silver certificate in the late 19th century, Pocahontas appeared as part of a group on the back of the $20 bill in 1865, and Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea have appeared on $1 coins — Tubman's spot on the $20 adds some much-needed diversity to the currency.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew visits the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Photo by Chris Taylor, Department of Treasury.

Frustratingly, it's possible that the Tubman $20 bill won't actually happen because of President-elect Donald Trump's resistance to anything he sees as "politically correct."

During an April interview, Trump voiced opposition to inclusion of Tubman on the $20 bill, calling it "pure political correctness," a theme he railed against during his campaign for president.

"Andrew Jackson had a great history, and I think it's very rough when you take somebody off the bill," Trump said on the "Today" show. "I think Harriet Tubman is fantastic, but I would love to leave Andrew Jackson or see if we can maybe come up with another denomination."

Advocates for the Tubman $20 bills are concerned that Trump's Treasury Department may try to change course ahead of plans to unveil the new design in 2020. For now, though, she's still slated to make her monetary debut.

The important thing to remember is the role that women like Desmond, Parks, and Tubman have played in making the world a better, more just place.

Whether it's Tubman's fight against slavery or Parks' and Desmond's battles against segregation, these women are beacons of progress in a world that wanted nothing more than to see them fail. It's important that we continue to recognize them for the work they did and the sacrifices they made.

Whether that recognition takes the form of a spot on a $10 or $20 bill, a stamp, or simply prominent positions in history books and lectures, these women remind us that a better world is worth fighting for, even if that fight is not immediately vindicated.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


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