University of Calgary

Education prof Darren Lund honoured for work in social justice

UToday HomeMay 1, 2013

Darren Lund, professor in the Faculty of Education, with Calgary Chief of Police Rick Hanson after receiving the award.Darren Lund, professor in the Faculty of Education, with Calgary Chief of Police Rick Hanson after receiving the award.“A hate crime is any criminal offence committed against a person or property, which is motivated in whole or in part by the suspects’ hate, prejudice, or bias against an individual or identifiable group based on real or perceived race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.”

Those are the words of the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee (AHCC), an organization that brings together law enforcement, government, non-profit, community, and educational stakeholders to address and fight hate and bias crimes and incidents in Alberta.

The AHCC chose Alberta Hate Crime Awareness Day, April 24, to present its annual awards to individuals or organizations in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge who demonstrate leadership and commitment to working against hate and discrimination in our communities.

In Calgary, the 2013 Hate Crime Awareness Award was presented to the Faculty of Education professor Darren Lund. The award, presented by Deputy Mayor Diane Colley-Urquhart, recognized Lund for his efforts to educate students, both in secondary schools and in post-secondary institutions, on combating intolerance and crime motivated by prejudice. The deputy mayor also read a proclamation, and Blair Mason, chief commissioner of the Alberta Human Rights Commission and Calgary Chief of Police Rick Hanson spoke at the ceremony as well.

“This recognition from a leading group of experts in the province means so much to me, both professionally and personally,” says Lund. “The award is an important confirmation of the value of speaking out against hate, of standing up to intimidation and the poisoning of our public discourse.

“Hate speech and hate crimes are destructive to our community, and are designed to strike fear in people and to erode equality. It’s important we continue to have these vital discussions on diversity and social justice.”

With that in mind, Lund is currently planning a one-day symposium on the subject, entitled Democracy and Diversity in a Global Context: Tough Conversations on Social Justice. The one-day event will bring together educators, community leaders, students, and members from various sectors to generate important conversations on social justice. The goal of the symposium is to foster increased cultural competency for local educators, community leaders, scholars, and graduate students alike.

For more information on the symposium, visit http://educ.ucalgary.ca/diversity_symposium/

 

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