OTTAWA, March 26, 1999 – Recipients of the first-ever Canadian Race Relations Foundation Awards of Excellence were announced today by The Honourable Lincoln Alexander, Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, The Honourable Ed Broadbent, Chair of the Award of Excellence jury and Award of Excellence jury member Jean-Claude Icart.
Honoured for their contributions to the elimination of racism were:
* Media Awareness Network/Réseau Education-Médias, Ottawa
* British Columbia Teachers' Federation, Vancouver
* Harmony Movement, Toronto
* National Capital Alliance on Race Relations, Ottawa
* Providence Health Care, Vancouver
"The Canadian Race Relations Foundation established the Award of Excellence to recognize public, private, and voluntary organizations whose efforts represent excellence and innovation in combating racism," said Mr. Alexander. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize the work of this year's recipients."
The Media Awareness Network, the recipient of the Award of Excellence and one of Canada's largest education websites, is launching Challenging Online Hate today. It is the latest addition to its extensive online program of anti-racism resources for media educators.
The Media Awareness Network will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and an Award trophy designed by renowned sculptress Yoshiko Sunahara. Ms Sunahara's design features the form of a sail catching the wind in full, symbolizing the courage of people who fought against rough waves and whose efforts demonstrate innovation and action in anti-racism initiatives.
Award of Distinction recipients will each receive a special plaque of recognition. The awards will be officially presented at a special ceremony this evening at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
A call for nominations went out in June 1998, resulting in more than 40 organizations from across the country being nominated for this award. An Award jury appointed by the Foundation and chaired by The Honourable Ed Broadbent selected the award recipients. Mr. Broadbent served as the Leader of the federal New Democratic Party from 1975 to 1989. He was then appointed President of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, a position he held until 1996.
Award of Excellence jury members include: Ms Ruth Goldbloom of Halifax, President of Pier 21 Society; M. Jean-Claude Icart of Montreal, Chair of the Bureau de la Communauté chrétienne des Haïtiennes de Montréal; Mr. Marc Maracle of Ottawa, Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship Centres; Ms Lucy Yamashita of Winnipeg, former vice-president of the National Association of Japanese Canadians.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation opened its doors in November, 1997. It operates at arm's length from the federal government and works to combat racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canada.