MA (Cmns), 1996
BA (Engl) , 1972
SFU OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT, 2010
Mae Burrows has an exceptional record of community service spanning many years. She is known as a builder of bridges between environmental, labour and community groups to promote the health of the environment. Her strategic capacity to build new relations and create alliances with diplomacy, grace and ingenuity shines throughout her work. Mae is the kind of person who is able to sustain her vision over the long haul, inspire others to come along for the journey, and to make real the powerful synergies that come from working together for a safer and healthier world.
As Executive Director of Toxic Free Canada, Mae led a broad spectrum of groups to promote “Right to Know” product labeling legislation and to ban key toxic substances such as pesticides. Mae works actively with affected communities to help them reduce their risk from toxins including occupational health and safety committees, unions, school districts, municipalities, and First Nations. She is deeply committed to the right of all communities, especially those that are marginalized - an awareness she developed as an adult literacy instructor - to know what they are exposed to and to move towards eliminating dangerous toxins.
She is courageous and steadfast in naming the dangers we face as our society continues to deliver toxic substances into ecosystems that impact all living things. This applies as well to her work in protecting salmon habitat. In 2008 she received the Canadian Cancer Society’s Partnership Award for her outstanding work in the area of cancer prevention.
Most recently, in recognition of her dedication and commitment for her community, environmental and coalition-building work, Mae was awarded a 2013 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Environmental Sustainability and the United Way Labour Appreciation Award.
In all of her work, she maintains a strong vision of building healthy communities combined with a very practical sense of the incremental steps needed to make change. Her legacy is a healthier environment and healthier families for generations to come.