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Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize winner — Courage and Inspiration Luminary Awardee

Malala Yousafzai, 18, is a Pakistani campaigner for children’s education, who came to the world’s attention after she was shot three years ago by the Taliban for her efforts in promoting girls’ education in the Swat valley. Pakistan subsequently ratified its first Right to Education Bill. For her education work and courage to speak out, Ms Yousafzai was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban in October 2012, when she was just 15, for promoting education for girls in her native Pakistan. But that didn’t stop her. Ms Yousafzai, 18, had already been the subject of a New York Times documentary and had written a blog for the BBC under a pseudonym about her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley.  In 2013, 2014, and 2015 Time Magazine named Ms Yousafzai as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”.  She now resides in England with her father after the Taliban continued their threat to kill her. But their assassination attempt and her continuing work for children’s education led Pakistan to ratify its first Right to Education Bill.  Among many prizes, Ms Yousafzai won the Sakharov Prize in 2013 and in 2014 was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the youngest Laureate in its history.

Maria Campbell — Trailblazer Luminary Awardee

Maria Campbell is a writer, playwright, and teacher.  In 1973 she published her first book, Halfbreed, which has become a classic and continues to be one of the most taught texts in Canadian literature.  Maria’s first professional play, Flight, was the first all-Aboriginal theatre production in Canada and brought modern dance, storytelling, and drama together with traditional Aboriginal practices.

In 1984, she co-founded a film and video production company with her brother and daughter.  With this company she produced and directed seven documentaries, and produced with CTV Canada’s first weekly Aboriginal television series.

She has received numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.  Maria is currently the Elder in Virtual Residence at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Athabasca University and the Cultural Advisor at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan.  She is also finishing a Trudeau Fellowship with the University of Ottawa.

Maria has worked as a volunteer with women and children in crisis for more than 40 years and is co-founder of a halfway house for women in Edmonton.  She is the national Elder with the Walking with our Sisters Collective.

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Maria Campbell is a writer, playwright, and teacher. She started her career in 1973 when she published her first book, Halfbreed. That book has become a literary classic and continues to be one of the most widely taught texts in Canadian literature. She has also published six other books, the most recent is, Stories of The Road Allowance People.

Maria Campbell’s first professional play, Flight, was the first all-Aboriginal theatre production in Canada. Flight brought modern dance, storytelling, and drama together with traditional Aboriginal practices. She went on to write and direct other plays among them Jessica, which received the Chalmers Award for Best New Canadian play and toured internationally. In 1984, she co-founded a film and video production company with her brother and daughter. With this company, she produced and directed seven documentaries and produced with CTV, Canada’s first weekly Aboriginal television series “My Partners, My People.”

She has received numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Gabriel Dumont Order of Merit, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. The Chalmers Award for best new play, and a national Dora Mavore Award for playwriting. She has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Theatre Hall of Fame and in 2004 she was awarded the Molson Prize by Canada Council for the Arts. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.

Maria is retired from the University of Saskatchewan, Departments of Native Studies and English where she taught Native Studies, Creative Writing and Drama.  She is currently the Elder in Virtual Residence at the Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research, Athabasca University and the Cultural Advisor at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. She holds four honorary doctorate degrees and has served as writer and playwright in residence at numerous universities, public libraries, and theatres across Canada. She has also served as a Stanley Knowles Scholar at the University of Brandon. She is currently finishing a Trudeau Fellowship with the University of Ottawa.

She has worked as a volunteer with women and children in crisis for over forty years and is co-founder of a halfway house for women in Edmonton. Maria ‘s home, until recently, was a safe house for women and youth. She is the national Elder with the Walking with our Sisters Collective.

Maria is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother

 

 

 

Maria Campbell_

Michele Landsberg photo

The couple Michele Landsberg & Stephen Lewis — Life Achievement Luminary Awardee

Michele is an articulate, tenacious, progressive and persuasive, award-winning former Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg is one of Canada’s best-known feminists and social justice activists.

A fearless advocate for women and children over many decades, she uses words, in print and in person, to fight injustice, to attack oppressive power structures and policies, and to champion the cause of human rights, race and gender equality, peace and pluralism.

Stephen Lewis is a Professor of Distinction at Ryerson University and a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University. He is the co-founder and board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and he is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization. Michele Landsberg and Stephen Lewis have been happily married for 48 years.

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MICHELE LANDSBERG

Articulate, tenacious, progressive and persuasive, award-winning former Toronto Star columnist Michele Landsberg is one of Canada’s best known feminists and social justice activists. A fearless advocate for women and children over many decades, she uses words, in print and in person, to fight injustice, to attack oppressive power structures and policies, and to champion the cause of human rights, race and gender equality, peace and pluralism.

Whether dealing with feminist issues, media, politics, health care, education, homelessness, poverty or the plight of women around the globe, she writes as she speaks and as she lives – with passion, insight and wit. A breast cancer survivor, she has written about her personal struggle with the disease and she continues to probe for links between the current epidemic and environmental causes.

Through her columns, she gave a strong public voice to many of those who would otherwise have no voice. Her readers energized her, and she took very seriously her “privileged position” as a member of the mainstream media in being able to speak out on their behalf. Never apologetic, and often irreverent and controversial, her writing both inspires and provokes, engages and enrages, attracting virulent antagonism as well as accolades. But, her columns have clout.

A tireless supporter, adviser, and activist to feminist, anti-poverty and social justice endeavours, she has served on the boards of organizations for assaulted women, global feminism and the cause of peace in the Middle East. She is the author of four best-selling books (Women and Children First; Michele Landsberg’s Guide to Children’s Books; “This is New York, Honey!” A Homage to Manhattan, with Love and Rage; and Writing the Revolution) and, for 20 years, has been a regular reviewer of children’s literature on CBC Radio.

Her many honours include two National Newspaper Awards (one being the first-ever award for column writing), the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the Robertine Barry Prize for distinguished contribution to women through journalism, the Dodi Robb award from MediaWatch, the Florence Bird Award from the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, several honorary degrees and, in 2002, the Governor-General’s Award in Commemoration of the 1929 Persons Case.  In 2006, Michele was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Her zest for wanting to change the world has its roots in her childhood: growing up as a Jewish girl in 1950s Toronto, where sexual stereotyping and objectification were rampant and overt anti-Semitism was acceptable. Despite her beloved mother’s admonition that “little ladies should never talk back,” she was determined to fight back.

A rebellious teenager who loved books, she enrolled in English language and literature at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1962. Dissuaded from pursuing a master’s degree by her male professors, she became a reporter at The Globe and Mail. Time out to raise a family followed, then freelance work and a writer/editor position at Chatelaine. In 1978, she first joined the Toronto Star as a columnist.

While living in New York in the 1980s, she wrote a weekly column on New York life for The Globe and Mail. Her husband, Stephen Lewis, was at that time Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. The couple has three grown children: Ilana Naomi Landsberg-Lewis, Avi David Lewis and Jenny Leah Lewis.

An exuberant writer, feminist, mother, grandmother and gardener, Michele continues to believe in the potential for human progress: “Basically I’m an optimist, even if I get heartbroken at times.” She wants to keep on writing: there is more to say, and poems and books to do. Countless causes and citizens of conscience hope she does.

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STEPHEN LEWIS

A Professor of Distinction at Ryerson University and a Professor of Practice in Global Governance at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University.  He is the co-founder and board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and he is co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organization.

Mr. Lewis is a Senior Fellow of the Enough Project.  He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Emeritus Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.  He served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV & the Law and in 2015 was appointed to the Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health.

Stephen Lewis’ work with the United Nations spanned more than two decades.  He was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006.   From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Lewis was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters in New York. From 1984 through 1988, he was Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

From 1970-1978, Mr. Lewis was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, during which time he became leader of the Official Opposition.

Mr. Lewis is the author of the best-selling book, Race Against Time.  He holds 40 honorary doctorates: 38 from Canadian universities, plus degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University in the United States.

In 2003, Stephen Lewis was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement.  In 2007, King Letsie III, monarch of the Kingdom of Lesotho (a small mountainous country in Southern Africa) invested Mr. Lewis as Knight Commander of the Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe.  The order is named for the founder of Lesotho; the knighthood is the country’s highest honour.  And in 2012, Mr. Lewis was an inaugural recipient of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Stephen Lewis - Alexis MacDonald