Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award


2017 Peter Gillespie Award for Social Justice, awarded to the Canadian Council for Muslim Women
Peter Gillespie Award for Social Justice: 2017 recipient - Canadian Council for Muslim WomenCredit: Kristina Corre

Call for Nominations for the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award

Do you know an organization carrying out transformative work to address discrimination and social exclusion?

Help to raise the profile of this remarkable organization by nominating them for the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award.

The award commemorates the legacy of Peter Gillespie by honouring the work of Canadian organizations. With a history of social justice work in Canada and internationally since 1975, Inter Pares is a feminist organization which promotes social justice. We wish to share our experience and lend our support to each year’s recipient of the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award. The recipient will be honoured during an event each spring.

The recipient organization will also have the opportunity to engage in discussions with political decision makers on Parliament Hill as well as other civil society organizations working on discrimination and social exclusion.

We invite you to submit a nomination, and to take this opportunity to help raise the profile of organizations doing important work.

The recipient organization will be invited to Ottawa for an exchange with Inter Pares on advocacy and networking strategies, including:

  • travel and accommodation expenses for five days in Ottawa (if the recipient organization is not based in the national capital region) for two representatives of the recipient organization;
  • a public speaking opportunity following the award presentation;
  • meetings with MPs and Senators and/or their staff, depending on availability;
  • meetings in Ottawa with similar organizations working nationally and internationally;
  • meetings with Inter Pares staff members to exchange ideas and mutual support related to organizational management, fundraising, and advocacy;
  • sharing of the recipient organization’s publications and events through Inter Pares communications channels over a six-month period.

Inter Pares is very excited to get acquainted with the inspiring work of the recipient organization and to learn from their experience. As always in our work, the learning journey is mutual.

Past Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award Recipients

2018: Clinic 554 and the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives

Clinic 554 is a family practice devoted to patient-driven healthcare. They are skilled in feminist, trauma-informed, harm reduction, and anti-racist practices and strive to provide the best experience of care to all patients. The practice includes all scopes of medicine, from pediatrics to geriatrics with a focus on reproductive, trans, LGBT/Queer and HIV care.

The National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) exists to promote excellence in reproductive health care for Inuit, Métis and First Nations women. The Council advocates for the restoration of midwifery education, the provision of midwifery services, and choice of birthplace for all Indigenous communities, consistent with the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

2017 (inaugural recipient): The Canadian Council of Muslim Women

Founded in 1982, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) is a leading progressive voice for Muslim women in Canada. CCMW works diligently to promote and encourage understanding and interfaith dialogue between Muslims and other faith communities. The work of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women embodies the values this award seeks to honour. In the face of increasing and sometimes tragically violent discrimination against Muslims in Canada, they have continued to raise their voices for the universality of human rights, and against restrictions or discrimination based on religion, gender or race.

Who was Peter?

Over the twenty-five years that Peter worked for Inter Pares (1985-2010), he brought his passion, courage, talent, and deep commitment to social justice to many issues and struggles around the world. Most notable among these were his years of collaboration with civil society organizations in Bangladesh, building movements for food sovereignty, landless rights, and democracy; his challenge to population control measures and discourse, exposing their racist and anti-poor underpinnings, and supporting the dismantlement of coercive programs; his relentless promotion of human rights in Burma, including raising millions of dollars to support refugees and displaced people; his solidarity with sugarworkers in the Philippines, who succeeded in transforming a feudal system and gaining rights to their land; his work in drawing public and government attention to the consequences of massive capital flight and tax evasion from developing countries into the global financial system. Throughout, he was also a staunch ally and supporter of women’s struggles for justice and autonomy, both in Canada and abroad. 

Nomination Criteria

The organization being nominated must:

  • have a total budget of approximately $500,000 or less
  • be a Canadian organization or group whose exceptional work includes the fight against discrimination and social exclusion
  • not be an existing Inter Pares counterpart

Nominations deadline

The deadline for nominations is in March each year. The nomination form is available on our website.

Selection process

A selection committee of four people will analyze the nominations received and verify eligibility. The choice of the selection committee will be based on an analysis of the organization’s impact, innovation, community engagement, and leadership.

Please contact Inter Pares staff members Mariétou Diallo and Jack Hui Litster if you have questions.