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2012 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue medallion for recipient Karen Armstrong

About the Blaney Award

The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented to an individual who has demonstrated, internationally, excellence in the use of dialogue to further the understanding of complex and profound public issues. Nominations are encouraged from diverse fields such as human rights, arts and culture, environmental sustainability, social justice, spirituality, government and journalism.

Far more than a simple ceremony, the Blaney award supports SFU’s mandate to be Canada’s most community-engaged research university through the delivery of programming designed to achieve meaningful community impact and tangible outcomes. The Centre for Dialogue establishes partnerships with community organizations suitable to assist in the development and execution of programming, as well as to sustain community involvement after the award. Past examples of award outcomes include staging workshops to build community capacity, hosting the launch of new civil society initiatives and partnering in the development of novel school curriculum.

Criteria used to select the recipient include the candidate’s demonstrated international excellence in the use of dialogue; the importance of his or her work to global and/or local communities in addressing complex and profound public issues; and the programming opportunities that exist for the recipient’s residency. Recent Blaney awards have collectively generated over 7,000 participant hours of in-person community programming and have attracted significant national and international media attention.

The award is supported by an endowment fund established in September 2000 by friends and colleagues to honour Jack P. Blaney, SFU President Emeritus. Dr. Blaney saw the need for a dedicated facility to promote and support dialogue for citizens with diverse views to find a path to positive action.