Mahatma Gandhi

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Sponsored jointly by the Thakore Charitable Foundation, the Institute for the Humanities and the J.S. Woodsworth Chair in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University.

The name and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi has been honoured at Simon Fraser University since the unveiling of his memorial bust in the Simon Fraser Peace Square in l970. Each year, on his birthday (October 2), the Gandhi Jayanti celebration brings members of the local Indo-Canadian community together with others who wish to salute his memory and honour his ideals.

Along with its local focus, this celebration also has a national and international orientation. Simon Fraser University, since l99l, has presented the Thakore Visiting Scholar Award to outstanding persons who have made the well-being of society their lifetime work. Recipients to date include Edward Broadbent, Douglas Roche, Ovide Mercredi, Ursula Franklin, Aung San Suu Kyi, George McRobie, Mary-Wynne Ashford, Marta de la Vega Torres, Thomas Berger, Medha Patkar, Lloyd Axworthy, Reverend James Lawson, Dr. Samantha Nutt and Dr. Eric Hoskins of War Child Canada, and Marilyn Gullison. All have been influenced by Gandhi and respect his contribution to the world.

Past Visiting Scholars:

Edward Broadbent, former Leader of the Federal NDP, 1991

Douglas Roche, Canadian UN ambassador for Disarmament Member and human rights expert, 1992

Ovide Mercredi, former first Nations grand Chief and avowed follower of non-violent principles, 1993

Dr. Ursula Franklin, a noted Canadian scientist with life long work on the Principles of Mahatma Gandhi, 1994

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese Opposition leader and Nobel Laureate, 1995

George McRobie, Small Scale Technologies Expert, 1996

Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, an educator in Peace and non- violence, 1997

Marta de la Vega Torres, Central American Peace activist for human rights, 1998

Thomas Berger, noted Lawyer, Former Chief Justice and human rights advocate, 1999

Medha Patkar, noted satyagrahi who has in the spirit of Gandhi led a successful campaign against the Sardar Sarovar project, 2000

Lloyd Axworthy, a long time member of parliament well known for his significant contribution to work on the issues of arms control, land mines eradication and human security, 2001

James Lawson, one of the few peace activists who has scientifically studied Mahatma Gandhi's technique of Non violence and has successfully applied it in the United States, 2002

Dr. Samantha Nutt and Dr. Eric Hoskins, from War Child Canada, for their dedication in providing humanitarian assistance to the war affected children in Iraq, 2003

Marilyn Gullison for her dedication to Operation Eyesight and HUGGS Canada, 2004

Michael Clague for his work in the fields of adult education, social policy and planning, and community development, 2005

Roy Miki for his long and outstanding work and achievements in the Japanese Canadian redress movement, 2006

James Pau for his dedication to helping people by alternative medicine, 2007

Free the Children (Marc Kielburger) for its unique work in creating the largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million young people involved in various programs in 45 countries, 2008

Ela Bhatt for her longstanding efforts on behalf of poor women in India and for her work in forming the trade union of the Self Employed Women's Association in India, 2009

Heribert and Kogila Adam, distinguished authors and teachers whose books on peacemaking and non-violent change in South Africa and in divided societies have brought them many honors, 2010

John O’Brian for his recent work on how the history of the images related to the Atomic Bomb has acclimated us to the bomb, 2011

Jim Green (posthumous) for his commitment to social activism, social housing in Vancouver, 2012

Lee Lakeman for her work on violence against women, 2013

Jennifer Allen Simons, C.M., Ph.D., LL.D., for her active and lifelong commitment to nuclear disarmament, peace, and the promotion of civil society, 2015

Judy Graves for her dedicated work as a tireless advocate for Vancouver’s homeless and educator on the need for ending homelessness, 2016