Justice and Public Safety
December 7, 2017

The following is being distributed at the request of the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Human Rights Commission Announces Winners of 2017 Human Rights Awards

During a ceremony today at Government House in St. John's, the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission presented the 2017 Human Rights Award to Susan Rose.

The 2017 Human Rights Award is presented today to coincide with December 10, International Human Rights Day. It recognizes an individual who has made and/or continues to make a meaningful contribution to advancing and furthering human rights in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Susan Rose is a former teacher, current National Vice-President of EGALE Human Rights Trust, and lifelong advocate for LGBTQ2S rights, protections, and visibility in education and beyond. At a time when it was not popular or safe to do so, she pushed for changes in the school environment and curriculum. She developed workshops, helped organize gay-straight alliances, facilitated research on homophobia and transphobia in education, and was a personal support to countless families and educators. Beyond the classroom, Susan Rose dedicated her own time and resources to improving the lives of LGBTQ2S people across the island.

Also at today's ceremony, Drs. Pauline Duke and Lloydetta Quaicoe were named Human Rights Champions. The commission grants this recognition to someone who has made a meaningful, lifelong contribution to human rights in Newfoundland and Labrador. The recipient is generally chosen by members of the selection committee. This year it was awarded to two recipients.

Dr. Lloydetta Quaicoe is founder and CEO of Sharing Our Cultures, an organization that works to address the needs of migrant children and fosters intercultural connections. Dr. Quaicoe’s work beyond the organization includes work with the African Canadian Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has written, presented, and developed programming extensively. In 2013, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for promoting multiculturalism and intercultural relations.

Dr. Pauline Duke is an award-winning physician, educator and advocate for refugee healthcare. As co-founder and a lead physician at the Refugee Health Intake Clinic, Dr. Duke provides specialized health services to meet the needs of refugees. She is a founding member and faculty advisor to Memorial University’s Med Gateway volunteer program, which works to improve access to medical care for refugees, and train students in cross-cultural medicine. During Operation Syria, Dr. Duke spearheaded efforts to ensure that all government-assisted refugees arriving in St. John’s had immediate access to health assessments. She was a founding member of the national advocacy group Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care, organized in opposition to federal cuts to healthcare.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission thanks all those who nominated individuals for the 2017 award. The Selection Committee's task was challenging in deciding this year's Human Rights Award and Human Rights Champion recipients.

" Human rights are advanced when people see injustice, and push until there is change. These are often uphill battles, requiring commitment, fortitude, and a strong moral compass. The result of their work is a better, more just society from which we all benefit. We are indebted to the work of human rights advocates, and are very pleased to honour a few here today.

As a teacher, Susan wanted to improve the learning environment for both students and professionals during a time where there was little awareness of LGBTQ2S issues. Susan’s work changed that, and lead to greater openness and awareness throughout the province through workshops, curricular reform, and professional development. She convinced people, from teachers to government officials, to community members, of the importance of LGBTQ2S visibility and support. Susan has changed many lives, and likely inspired future human rights champions.

The selection committee had such a difficult decision this year between Drs. Duke and Quaicoe, that it decided to recognize two Human Rights Champions. These women saw a need, and dedicated their careers to positive change. Dr. Pauline Duke’s work for refugee healthcare in St. John’s has made all the difference for people coming from difficult circumstances. Dr. Lloydetta Quaicoe’s work with Sharing Our Cultures provides a much-needed voice in education that will influence the intercultural relations of young people for their lifetime.”
Kim Mackay
Vice-Chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

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Learn more

For more information on the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission, please visit www.thinkhumanrights.ca . You can also follow on Twitter @nlhumanrights .

Media contact
Kim Mackay, Vice-Chair
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

2017 12 07                             3:55 p.m.