Every year WPIRG has the privilege of working with students and community members who amaze us with their dedication and passion for justice, equality, freedom, solidarity and social change. Starting with the 2013-2014 year, 40 years after our founding, WPIRG created the Social Justice Activist Awards to recognize these incredible individuals and groups.

The chosen individuals or collectives will receive an award certificate, an inscription on the WPIRG Social Justice Activist Awards plaque (to be displayed in our office), and a gift certificate. Winners will be announced in campus media as well as WPIRG’s media.

This year’s award is open to all UW and local community members who have been involved between April 2015 and April 2016 in such issues as:

  • Fighting for social justice issues (these issues are diverse and can range from educational to gender to equity issues to peace);
  • Promoting the welfare of humanity and the environment and the elimination of pain and suffering through acts of campus and community organizing, education and/or solidarity.

Award Criteria and Nomination Form

Please review the award criteria, fill out the Nomination Form and, when writing your letter of nomination and seeking supporting letters from others, include the nominee’s specific contributions. Nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 20 at 5pm.

The main criteria are:

  • Impact of their service to the campus and/or community;
  • Length and level of involvement or commitment of the nominee to their act of service;
  • The dedication and courage of the nominee’s activism.

The selection committee is comprised of members of the WPIRG Board of Directors and members-at-large. Members of the selection committee cannot nominate a candidate. Members of the selection committee who have personal ties with the nominees must yield their place to another member of the Board or a WPIRG member-at-large nominated by the members of the selection committee. This year’s Awards will be presented at the Annual General Membership meeting in late March or early April 2016.

Past Award Receipients

2016 Social Justice Award Recipient Shawn Johnston

2016 Social Justice Award Recipient Shawn Johnston

2015 Social Justice Award Recipient Elana Hashman (centre)

2015 Social Justice Award Recipient Elana Hashman (centre)

Elana  Hashman (centre), a founding  member  of  Women  in  Computer  Science Undergraduate Committee, was presented  with the 2015  WPIRG Social  Justice Activist  Award  in  recognition  of  her  work  towards gender  and  racial equality  in  S.T.E.M.  fields at the University of Waterloo and beyond. Elana was nominated by Melissa Tedesco (left) and Fatema Boxwala (right), members of Women in Computer Science.

2014 Social Justice Award Recipients Majd (left) and Rob (right)

2014 Social Justice Award Recipients Majd (left) and Rob (right)

Engineering students Majd Al-Shihabi and Rob Reid, the 2014 WPIRG Social Justice Awards recipients. Majd and Rob were recognized for their outstanding work on campus with the Engineers Without Borders Waterloo chapter.