Recognizing social justice activists

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28.	Representatives from the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives and Clinic 554 stand with their 2019 Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award plaques and Peruvian activist Maria Ysabel Cedano. In the background is colourful Indigenous artwork.

As featured in our 2019 Annual Report Mobilizing for Change

Working for social justice is a long road. Setbacks, burnout, and shoestring budgets are all part of the activist life. For 25 years Peter Gillespie worked at Inter Pares, bringing passion, courage, talent, and deep commitment to social justice. Following Peter’s death in 2015, we created the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award in his memory. Each April since 2017, this Award has been presented to outstanding Canadian social justice organizations, to honour and recognize their contributions.

In 2019, Inter Pares presented this Award to two exceptional organizations: the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM), which is working towards the sustainable return of birth to Indigenous communities, and Clinic 554, the only out-of-hospital access for abortion services and sole LGBTIQ2 clinic in New Brunswick.

In recognizing NACM, we honour their critical work in reproductive healthcare for Inuit, Métis and First Nations women. NACM is helping to fulfil the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action to recognize the value of Indigenous healing practices, and to increase the number of Indigenous professionals working in health care.

By working to bring national attention to Clinic 554, we acknowledge the services they provide to the most marginalized in New Brunswick. Migrant workers, undocumented residents, patients with mental health issues, patients fleeing intimate partner violence, those with addictions, and those who are involved in sex work, have all been supported by Clinic 554.

We are honoured to shine a light on these hardworking social justice organizations with the Peter Gillespie Social Justice Award, and look forward to continuing to do so in years to come.

We are honoured to have our work recognized as we continue bringing birth back to our communities. Claire Dion Fletcher, Co-Chair, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives

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