Sept. 14, 2004
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Alanna Palmer, the Chair of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, announced today that the 2004 New Brunswick Human Rights Award will be conferred on Dr. Russell McNeilly of Fredericton.
"Dr. McNeilly, a member of the United Church, worked with a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan to establish a lecture series at a Catholic university in honour of a prominent Jewish human rights activist," Palmer said. "This is just one example of his unique contributions to human rights that seems particularly relevant today."
McNeilly immigrated to Canada from Trinidad and was a professor in the Faculty of Education at UNB from 1966 until 1995. He brought to UNB his passion for human rights and his belief that education is the key to understanding and adopting positive values.
Dr. Russell McNeilly (Large photo)
He made it his mission to educate his students on race relations and human rights issues, and he ignited in them an interest in human rights that many passed on to future generations in their own classrooms.
He also recognized the problems faced by visible minority groups, and used his research, expertise and resources to promote human rights at local, provincial, national and international levels. He also wrote several articles, books and pamphlets on human rights.
McNeilly also played an important role in the creation of organizations that promote human rights and equity.
One of his most important contributions is the Atlantic Human Rights Centre at St Thomas University. He was one of several individuals who worked hard to found the Centre in 1987. He continued to work closely with the Centre over the years, and later served as its Acting Director, as well as its chair.
McNeilly has been an active member of local, provincial and national multicultural associations, and has received a number of prestigious awards.
The Human Rights Award will be presented to Dr. McNeilly on Wednesday by Lt.-Gov. Herménégilde Chiasson at a ceremony in Fredericton.
The award was established by the Human Rights Commission in 1988 to recognize outstanding effort, achievement or leadership on a volunteer basis in the promotion of human rights and equality.
The award is presented annually around New Brunswick Human Rights Day, Sept. 15. That date marks the anniversary of the coming into effect of the New Brunswick Human Rights Act in 1967. Last year's recipient was Eugène LeBlanc of Memramcook.
MORE INFORMATION is available at online at: http://www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/e/award2.htm and http://www.gnb.ca/hrc-cdp/e/award04.htm.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Human Rights Award ceremony will start at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15 at York Manor, 100 Sunset Drive, in Fredericton. MEDIA CONTACT: Alanna Palmer, Chair, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, Fredericton, 506-453-2301.