London, ON – On Monday March 21, 2011 London’s City Council and Mayor Joe Fontana presented Brescia University College with the Race Relations Recognition Award in honour of the dedication that Brescia faculty and staff have given to create an inclusive environment both on campus and abroad.
Each March in celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the City of London presents a Race Relations Recognition Award to one organization across five categories: Business and Labour; Education and Training; Social and Community Services; Public and Private Institutions; and The Corporation of the City of London.
Brescia University College was the winner in the 2011 Education and Training category. The winner of each category is said to have heightened awareness for positive race relations in London and encouraged ongoing city-wide activities that promote/advance London as a welcoming city.
Brescia University College’s Principal, Dr. Colleen Hanycz, comments, “I am so proud of Brescia’s faculty, staff, and students, who are ultimately the ones being honoured by this award. Brescia is a Catholic college rooted in the Ursuline tradition and we pride ourselves on inclusivity. Brescia prepares her graduates to lead with wisdom, justice, and compassion in a changing world.”
Brescia University College was nominated for this award for a number of reasons.
At the heart of Brescia’s internal attention to race relations and diversity is the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), administered by Brescia’s International Program Co-ordinator, Christina Lord. Christina provides regular workshops to students, staff, and faculty members. Ideas learned in these sessions have helped to shape Brescia’s Community Development Orientation Program as well.
Brescia’s desire to expose students to different ways of life has also manifested itself in academic programming and research. Dr. Sharareh Hekmat, associate professor in the Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Brescia, and her team of student researchers and colleagues from across The University of Western Ontario have shown how academic study and practice can effect positive change in developing countries.
Dr. Hekmat was one of the original members of the Western Heads East (WHE) steering committee that opened a site in Africa where women are empowered to produce and sell probiotic yoghurt. This yoghurt contains mico-organisms effective in treating and preventing HIV/AIDS. Dr. Hekmat has trained more than 25 interns, who have also helped to create a sustainable mini-dairy plant in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Additionally, in July 2010 Brescia University College’s Girls LEAD summer camp program went international – to Barbados. Two Brescia students, an alumna, and one staff member led 22 female primary school students through a series of confidence-building exercises, all of which helped to reduce prejudice and raise awareness about different cultures.
Brescia is honoured to have been acknowledged for its race relations initiatives through this award.
For more information, please contact Sheila Blagrave, director of communications, marketing, and external relations at Brescia (firstname.lastname@example.org); 519-432-8353 (extension 28293)
Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit www.brescia.uwo.ca