Human Rights Awards
December 10, 2018 marked 70 years since passing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and on December 9th, 2018, we hosted our 12th Human Rights Awards as part of our effort to build a human rights city; a place where all in our community belong, are included and able to participate. These awards are meant to recognize those in our community who are actively promoting, fulfilling, protecting or educating on human rights.
The 2018 Human Rights Champions Award recipients are:
Lynn came to Canada as a temporary foreign worker and struggled with an abusive work environment. While she was pregnant, her application for a new work permit was denied. In April 2017 Lynn inspired and lead a province-wide campaign that score victory with health coverage for children of non-status parents.
Ahmed Knowmadic Ali, a full-time poet and entrepreneur whose art centers on social justice, mental health and positive identity. Ahmed has changed the lives of many young people. His humorous and refreshing perspective breaks barriers that allow youth to be themselves.
Mahamad Accord has been an advocate for over 13 years; he brings awareness to the issues of racial profiling and unsolved murders in the Somali community. He travels across the province to help people navigating the justice system. Mahamad is currently supporting a team of Somali women to build cooperatives and opportunities for income generation.
Greg Lopez became aware of the unfair decisions and processes that stand in the way of vulnerable refugee claimants, he took on learning the filing process himself. As a result he has supported numerous claimants, including from the LGTBQ community, to escape situations of persecution and human rights violations through helping them translate their narratives in a safe way into their claims. He stands with and walks with them through the process while supporting their well-being.
Allan Garber, recipient of the 2017 Gerald L. Gall award the keynote speaker:
Mr. Garber received his law degree from McGill University in Montreal in 1984 and was admitted to the bar in 1985. In a case that received national and international attention, he acted for about 150 Albertans who were sexually sterilized under Alberta's notorious eugenics program. On behalf of elderly Albertans, Mr. Garber commenced a class action concerning the fees charged by long term care facilities. Certification of the class action was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Garber has acted for many elderly victims of abuse and neglect, often on a pro bono basis. He has defended the rights of family members to visit their loved ones in long term care facilities. Recently, Mr. Garber worked with the Elder Advocates Society of Alberta to end age discrimination in Alberta. He is widely known as the "senior's lawyer."
Robert P. Lee, the recipient the Gerald L. Gall award in 2016, explains what the award means to him, “Right now, there’s a little more failure than success in the work that I do. Because it is so challenging, in a way I feel that I’m not worthy of it yet. I hope to help the people that I’m representing- and I’m not there yet.”