The Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador announced nominees for the 2016 Human Rights Awards this afternoon.
The annual awards recognize individuals who have made and/or continue to make meaningful contributions to advancing and furthering human rights in the province.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Government House in St. John’s on Thursday.
The timing of the presentation coincides with International Human Rights Day on Saturday.
The recipients will receive a specially commissioned sculpture designed and carved by Wilson Semigak, a Labrador soapstone carver.
The nominees are:
- Sarah Anala, an Inuk elder and former resident of Nain.
- Justin Brake, an independent journalist, reporter and editor for TheIndependent.ca.
- Mark Gruchy, a St. John’s lawyer with a lived experience of mental illness.
- Lorraine Hearn, one of the founding members of the Status of Women Central, which offers front line services to women in Grand-Falls Windsor.
- Gemma Hickey, a widely known St. John’s-based activist and up-and-coming poet.
- Bryan Johnson, a recognized leader in the province’s deaf community.
- Sheldon Pollett, the executive director of Choices for Youth, an organization that works with hundreds of at-risk youth throughout the province.
- Kyle Rees, a St. John’s lawyer who has advocated in many high-profile cases dealing with the decriminalization of doctor-assisted suicide and the rights of transgender people.