New Brunswick Human Rights Commission

Asper Foundation to receive award (08/10/21)

NB 1538

Oct. 21, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Asper Foundation will receive an award for its Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program at noon on Saturday Oct. 25. The Pioneer of Human Rights Award will be conferred during The Youth Forum at Margaret Norrie McCain Hall at Saint Thomas University.

"The Asper Foundation is involved in the lives of many students in New Brunswick," said Gordon L. Porter, chair of the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. "The foundation is making a difference in allowing students to participate in a program that creates sensitization in tomorrow's leaders. The human rights commission is proud to support this kind of awareness."

The Human Rights and Holocaust Studies Program aims to promote tolerance and sensitize Grade 9 students to the consequences of racism. The program started in Winnipeg, Man., in 1997, and it is inclusive of students from different backgrounds.

"Human rights awareness starts with youth," said Porter. "This program gets them engaged in a forceful way. We are pleased that students from New Brunswick have been able to be part of it."

Since 2001, 101 francophone and anglophone students and chaperones from Fredericton, Moncton, Saint John, Stanley, Woodstock and Hartland have participated in the program. The Asper Foundation has contributed more than $100,000 to enable these students to participate.

"The Asper family has set a great example for us to follow, and we challenge others to step forward and join their pioneer efforts to advance human rights among youth," Porter said.

The program allows students, as the leaders of tomorrow, to become more aware of human rights and world issues.

"This program is a benchmark for students and chaperones to establish their personal convictions to ensure that future generations will be unconditionally tolerant, understanding and respectful of all human rights," said Porter.

During the forum, the human rights commission will announce the creation of a youth focus group composed of high school and college and university students, as well as teachers to develop and carry out a series of initiatives on human rights in New Brunswick. The human rights commissions of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will be invited to participate.

For more information about the Asper Foundation, visit For more information about the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, visit


MEDIA CONTACT : Elizabeth Joubert, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-3207.