In January 2021, the SWAG community said goodbye to our dear friend and leader Joan Canton. She was a visionary and mentor to SWAG as well as a champion for the well-being of her community. In particular, she worked hard to ensure children in the SWAG neighborhoods had access to resources and learning opportunities. As a result of her vision and guidance, SWAG’s service centers continue to serve SW Gainesville. SWAG honors and celebrates her life, and her legacy lives on in our work and hearts.
On November 4, 2021, the Community Foundation of North Central Florida honored Joan by awarding her the first-ever Joan Canton Community Champion Award. Subsequently, this award will honor those who do remarkable social justice work in the community each year.
SWAG Posts about Joan
- Fall Feature 2021We have many reasons to be thankful this fall. First, SWAG’s visionary Joan Canton is the inspiration and first recipient of a new annual award from the Community Foundation of North Central Florida. We’re also very grateful for generous contributions individuals have made through the UF Campaign for Charities and the SWAG Family Resource Center … Continued
- Community Connections and Joan Canton Way Road Naming CelebrationOn Saturday, August 28, 2021, SWAG paid tribute to our visionary Joan Canton. The day’s celebrations started with a Road Naming Ceremony in her honor, followed by a Community Connections resource fair. Read on for a summary and photos of the event!
- BoCC Approves Naming of Joan Canton WayIn May 2021, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) unanimously approved the naming of Joan Canton Way. As a result, the portion of SW 61 Street and SW 8 Avenue between SW 20 Avenue and Tower Road will display the name of SWAG visionary Joan Canton.
- A Walking Trail Near Linton Oaks is Nearly Finished!Yesterday, we were thrilled to realize the walking trail around the new retention pond in Linton Oaks is nearly complete. We wanted to share our excitement and thank our county commissioners and county staff for making this a reality. We can’t wait for an official opening. As she has for a decade, our SWAG Vice-Chair … Continued
- Playground Naming Ceremony Honoring Joan CantonToday, SWAG and the CHILD Center honored Joan Canton, one of our SWAG co-founders and the visionary behind SWAG’s work as we announced that the new playground that is about to be built at the CHILD Center will be named in Joan’s honor. There was so much love in the room today. Joan has worked … Continued
News Media Featuring Joan Canton
- “Dedicating a Portion of SW 8th Ave in Memory of Joan Canton” by Alachua County. September 2, 2021
- “‘She was a blessing to this community’; SW Gainesville street named after SWAG visionary Joan Canton” by Camille Syed, WCJB. August 28, 2021
- “Joan Canton” by Dr. Anthony Robinson, SYNERGY Magazine. Issue 4, 2021
- “Joan Canton, SWAG visionary, dies at 79” by Cleveland Tinker, The Gainesville Sun. January 20, 2021
- “Leader of Gainesville advocacy group dies” by WCJB. January 21, 2021
- Obituary published in The Gainesville Sun. January 21-22, 2021
- “SWAG honors founder Canton” by Cindy Swirko, The Gainesville Sun. February 8, 2020
- “SWAG reveals The CHILD Center for Early Learning” by Matthew Arrojas, WUFT. June 7, 2018
- “SWAG To Create Child Care and Early Education Center” by Brittany Valencic, WUFT. July 6, 2016
- “SWAG Center creates community when nobody else would” by Brittany Valencic, WUFT. June 29, 2016