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The B.C.
Human Rights Coalition

#1202
510 West Hastings St.
Vancouver, B.C.
V6B 1L8

Tel: 604.689.8474
Fax: 604.689.7511

1-877-689-8474


Rosemary Brown Award for Women

Rosemary Brown (1930-2003) was an inspiring Canadian woman who greatly influenced and affected the global agenda towards equality and justice for all.

Rosemary was a distinguished social worker, a politician, an author, a media personality, an academic, a feminist, and a loving mother and grandmother. She was bestowed with

16 honourary Doctorates from Canadian universities and was a member of the Privy Council, the Order of Canada, the Order of BC, and the Order of Jamaica.

 Each year, the Rosemary Brown Award for Women honours and recognizes a BC woman   or BC-based organization that promotes the values and ideals that Rosemary Brown championed during her lifetime.

Those values and ideals are reflected by demonstrating exceptional qualities or archievements in one of the selected areas or themes:

  • Children's Rights
  • Women in the Labour Movement
  • Women's Equality Issues
  • Human Rights
  • Political Activism or Women in Politics
  • Social Justice and Community Development
  • International Develoment

2014 - West Coast LEAF (Legal Education and Action Fund)

The West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund ("West Coast LEAF") is the recipient of the 2014 Rosemary Brown Award for Women. This organization is being recognized for its extraordinary contributions in the area of Women's Rights.

  

West Coast LEAF is a unique organization in BC that uses the law to further women's equality. West Coast LEAF envisions a society in which women are full participants in the social, economic, and political activities of the nation.

  

Their law reform initiatives track legislation affecting the legal rights of women, and they engage with government to ensure that law and policy respect equality rights. They also deliver public legal education workshops that train people on legal tools and strategies.

  

They strive to create a society in which differences are respected and supported by the law, and by social and institutional policies and practices. They use the law as a tool to create change - and where the law itself perpetuates injustice and inequality, they work to change the law. West Coast LEAF has been speaking their minds since 1985-the year the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect.

                     

         West Coast LEAF : Kasari Govender, Executive Director and Francesca Marzari, Chair of the Board

                             

 

       

 

2013 - Alice West

Alice West is being recognized for her extraordinary contributions in the area of Women in the Labour Movement.

Alice West was honoured at a ceremony at Hycroft House (University Womens' Club) in Vancouver on June the 7th of 2013.

Alice West began her labour activism in 1942 at age 16, when she took a job paying 37.5 cents an hour at a plywood plant. Later she dedicated her time to help to organize workers at the plant.

In the 1960’s, then working for the Federal Government, Alice was elected shop steward and Local President and Treasurer of the BC Yukon region of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) as a National Director of PASC. She was the key organizer of the Union’s first ever National Women’s Conference. For decades she fought for pay equity for women internationally and here in Canada.

As a member of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, an independent body that recommended reform to federal laws, she contributed specially on equality issues within the federal public service. After retirement, she played a key role in the creation of Women Elders in Action (“WE*ACT”) at the 411 Dunsmuir Senior’s Centre. As its chair, in 2007 Alice appeared before the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Status of Women to call attention to poverty among elder women. This was the third time she made such a contribution.

Alice was a fearless pioneer for the rights for women in the workplace at a time when women were not regarded as equals in the workplace. She fought for gender-based pay equity, and continues to fight for retirement security for elder women.

                  

       

       

Alice West receives the Rosemary Brown Award  on June 7th, 2013

View a slideshow of the event here

The Rosemary Brown Award for Women is sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada (Vancouver Branch), the BC Association of Social Workers, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, the BC Federation of Labour, the BC Human Rights Coalition, the National Congress of Black Women and the Society for the Children and Youth of BC.

2012 - Wilma Clarke

This year, the Rosemary Brown Award for Women goes to a woman who has shown exceptional leadership in child rights in British Columbia, Wilma Clarke.

She was honoured at a ceremony at Hycroft House in Vancouver on June 6, 2012. Wilma's passion, dedication, and courage has inspired people of all ages to recognize the importance of child rights and to strongly advocate for those rights.

Ms. Clarke has served BC's public service for over 20 years in many positions including social worker, manager of anti-racism programs, manager of education and communications of the Human Rights Commission and director of operations for the Centre for Safe Schools and Communities, the Centre for Non-Profit Development and the Centre for Social Responsibility.

She is a strong role model for child rights practice both in her professional work and in her personal family life. Wilma's contribution has made a significant difference in British Columbia and like Rosemary Brown, she will inspire a new generation of people to keep fighting for child rights.

   

     

Wilma Clarke receives the Rosemary Brown Award, June 6, 2012

(View a slideshow of the event)

The Rosemary Brown Award for Women is sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada (Vancouver Branch), the BC Association of Social Workers, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, the BC Federation of Labour, the BC Human Rights Coalition, the National Congress of Black Women and the Society for the Children and Youth of BC.

2011- Suzanne Taylor

This year's recipient of the Rosemary Brown Award for Women is Suzanne Taylor. She has honoured in a ceremony at Hycroft House in Vancouver on June 1, 2011. Suzanne Taylor was recognized for her extraordinary contributions in the area of International Development. As a primary health care specialist and community development expert, Suzanne has provided exceptional hope and empowerment to people by providing training, mentorship, and sustainable solutions during disaster recovery and influencing systemic development to regions in crisis around the world.

       

Suzanne Taylor receives the Rosemary Brown Award on June 1, 2010

(View a slideshow of the event)

The Rosemary Brown Award for Women is sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada (Vancouver chapter), the BC Association of Social Workers, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, the BC Federation of Labour, the BC Human Rights Coalition, the National Congress of Black Women and the Society for the Children and Youth of BC.

2010- Jean Swanson

Jean Swanson is the recipient of the 2010 Rosemary Brown Award for Women and was honoured in a ceremony at Hycroft House in Vancouver on June 1, 2010. Jean is the most identified anti-poverty activist in Canada with more than 35 years of work with the most disadvantaged people in our communities such as people on welfare, people with disabilities, the homeless, the jobless, and women. Currently Coordinator of the Carnegie Community Action Project, Jean Swanson is a well-known name not only in Vancouver but also in Canada.  

  

                  

    Jean Swanson receives the Rosemary Brown Award.

(View a slideshow of the event)

The Rosemary Brown Award for Women is sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada (Vancouver chapter), the BC Association of Social Workers, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, the BC Federation of Labour, the BC Human Rights Coalition, the National Congress of Black Women and the Society for the Children and Youth of BC.

2009 - Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign

                                                                                            

Grandmothers to Grandmothers groups in British Columbia have won the Rosemary Brown Award for Women for 2009. The award, now in its fifth year, was named for Rosemary Brown, the first black woman elected to a Canadian legislature (in BC 1972-1986). Barbara Clay, chair of the Greater Vancouver “Gogos”, (African for Grandmother) accepted the award at a ceremony on June 3, along with  grandmothers from the Kamloops Go Grannies and the Nanaimo Go Grannies which were the first two groups in B.C.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation's Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign seeks to build solidarity, raise awareness and mobilize support in Canada for Africa's grandmothers. Some 220 groups of Canadian grandmothers have taken up the call to action. To date, the campaign has raised more than $6 million for African grandmothers and the children in their care. These funds are distributed to community-level organizations in 15 sub-Saharan African countries that provide grandmothers with much needed support, such as food, housing grants, school fees for their grandchildren and grief counseling. Grandmothers have emerged as the 'unsung heroes' of Africa.

They bury their own children and then in their 50s, 60s and 70s begin to parent again, raising their grandchildren with little or no support. In some countries, 40-60% of orphans live in grandmother-headed households. These courageous and resilient women have no time to grieve. Their priority is the next generation: the infants, toddlers, and teenagers who are left behind. Although there is never enough for their burgeoning households, somehow these grandmothers attempt to feed, clothe and comfort their grandchildren.

The Grandmothers receive the Rosemary Brown Award The Grandmothers receive the Rosemary Brown Award The Grandmothers receive the Rosemary Brown Award

The Grandmothers receive the Rosemary Brown Award (held by Barbara Clay, chair of the Greater Vancouver Gogos) and commemorative plaques that were presented to the Kamloops, Nanaimo and Vancouver chapters.

(View a slideshow of the event)

(See video excerpt of Barbara Clay's Acceptance speech)

The Rosemary Brown Award for Women is sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada (Vancouver chapter), the BC Association of Social Workers, the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, the BC Federation of Labour, the BC Human Rights Coalition, the National Congress of Black Women and the Society for the Children and Youth of BC.

 

2008 - Women in Politics - Margaret Mitchell

2007 - Women in the Labour Movement - Angela Schira

2006 - Children's Rights - Valerie Fronczek

2005 - Women's Rights - Barbara Binns

 

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