Please read the full press release below.
News Release: 2011 Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award presented to the White Ribbon Campaign
May 27, 2011 (Fredericton, N.B.) The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation (MMFF) presented the 19th annual Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award to the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC).
As the Fergusson Foundation marks its 26th year, they are pleased to acknowledge the incredible work and leadership of the White Ribbon Campaign - the world’s largest project of men and boys working to end violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
In 1991, in response to the December 6th Montreal Massacre, a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out about violence against women. Among these co-founders were Jack Layton and Dr. Michael Kaufman. What started humbly in Canada as an annual awareness effort is now a comprehensive, year round approach to engaging men and boys to end violence against women. From their Canadian beginnings, they now support activities in over 60 countries around the world. They work with the United Nations and in partnership with women’s organizations and governments across the globe.
In accepting the Award, WRC Executive Director Todd Minerson said, “It is a tremendous honour for the White Ribbon Campaign to be recognized with the 2011 Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award. It is humbling to stand beside the incredible efforts of previous recipients, especially as part of the legacy of a true Canadian pioneer for women's rights, Muriel McQueen Fergusson.”
The White Ribbon Campaign believes that violence against women and girls is neither exclusively a women’s issue, nor a men’s issue, but it is a society-wide issue. It is as much about support and intervention for women, as it is about education, awareness and prevention with men; as much about women’s empowerment and reclaiming safe space as it is about deconstructing the harmful aspects of masculinity and dismantling male privilege.
The work of the WRC is essential in helping to end violence and the men involved are part of the solution. “This Award is an acknowledgment that men and boys have both a vital role and responsibility in working to end violence against women and girls. As fathers, husbands and brothers; co-workers and employers; friends and neighbours; educators and community leaders; we need to understand we can be part of the solution, not just part of the problem. It can start with something as simple as taking the pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women”, said Minerson.
Beverly Bolton, Chair of the MMFF’s Award Selection Committee agreed, saying, "The Foundation is pleased to recognize the work of male leaders in the work to educate men and to bring forward a movement of change, a movement of peace and a society free of violence. The global efforts speak to the power of men and women talking about this issue in unison.”
In the name of the Award recipient, the Foundation makes a donation to a registered charity of the recipient’s choice, whose objectives further the goals of the Foundation. This year the White Ribbon Campaign has chosen to share a portion of the donation with a New Brunswick group, the Fredericton Sexual Assault Crisis Centre (FSACC) because of their commitment to end sexual violence against women and children. The FSACC was the MMFF Award recipient in 1999. The contribution is representative to WRC of the need to provide services for women and the need to do prevention work with men.
In 2010, The Honourable Graydon Nicholas, accepted to serve as Honorary Patron of The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award. With this partnership, His Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor, agreed to make Government House the permanent home of the MMFF Award.
"I am humbled to be able to recognize the White Ribbon Campaign," said The Hon. Graydon Nicholas, New Brunswick's Lieutenant-Governor and Honorary Patron of the MMFF Award. "The WRC is the world's largest effort by men in the fight against domestic violence. I am privileged to be associated with this campaign and its commitments to educate, raise awareness and challenge all of us to speak out."
Created in 1992 to recognize outstanding contributions towards the prevention and elimination of family violence in Canada, The Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award is presented annually to an individual, group or organization that has significantly contributed to that end. The Award is presented annually in May to commemorate the birthday of the Foundation’s Patron, Muriel McQueen Fergusson.
Canada’s Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation has taken a leadership role in the struggle against domestic and family violence since 1985. The Foundation is a group of committed leaders who come together with a common mission - to eliminate family violence.
It supports research into the causes, incidences and forms of family violence, and promotes effective educational programs to increase public awareness about these issues. The Foundation provides financial assistance to non-profit organizations through a grants program, and recognizes outstanding contributions toward family violence prevention in Canada through its annual Muriel McQueen Fergusson Award.
For more information contact:
Therese M. Murray, Executive Director
Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation