On December 11, I was honoured to receive a Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. I was described in the awards brochure as “a pioneering media artist in Edmonton and a community organizer.” Many of my colleagues from the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism, the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action, and the Moving Forward with Reconciliation working group, as well as many of my general activist friends, were there to support me.
Here’s my acceptance speech, in writing and video:
When I showed up at my first peace march in September of 2005, camera in hand, I had no idea that 11 years later I would be standing here receiving an award like this.
I firmly believe that we all have a role to play when it comes to peace and human rights, and that every contribution has significance. Our voices count, whether it is helping organize events, connecting communities, or simply showing up to support an equitable society, to say no to racism, and to say yes to peace and an anti-war government.
I also hope that my example will help influence others to get involved with the peace movement and human rights. We need your voices and talents.
Thank you to the John Humphrey Centre for holding these awards and for bestowing this honour upon me. And to all of my friends and supporters over the years: peace, shalom, thank you.