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Provost’s Advocacy and Activism Awards in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

UVic acknowledges the presence of dedicated advocates and activists within our community. These individuals address systemic or institutionalized barriers as champions for others. Recognition from others, including the provision of resources, is crucial to fostering an environment that supports and nurtures these individuals or groups and their advocacy and/or activism.

These awards recognize the achievements of individuals or groups in the university community (current students, faculty, staff and alumni) who demonstrate dedication to the advancement of social equity through advocacy and/or activism. These awards also celebrate individuals or groups who go beyond the expectations of one’s job, position or responsibility to advance the rights of others.

Annually, a one-time cash award will be gifted to two (2) successful nominees based on the two themes of advocacy and/or activism. The amount will be divided evenly among recipients.

Nominations are open until November 1, 2023! Timing aligns with the REACH research and teaching awards.


In adjudicating these awards, we use the following criteria:


  • Addressing systemic or institutionalized barriers as champions for others.
  • Defending and upholding the rights of individuals to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Engaging in original public action emphasizing justice and respect in support of positive change, including collective action.
  • Creating transformative, ongoing and innovative social change that continues into future years. For example, this action may engage with underrepresented populations who are excluded from traditional methods of community engagement with the expectation that the action is not typically done once, but will continue to impact the university community and/or society.


  • Taking an active role in influencing educational and community policies or issues through community engagement.
  • Enacting social change demonstrated by ongoing, measurable results and outcomes in the UVic, or Greater Victoria community, or at a provincial, national or international level.
  • Taking action to detect and address systemic barriers to justice in order to make UVic an inclusive learning, working, and living environment.


  • Any current member of the UVic community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) can be nominated.
  • Any member of the UVic community, defined by a connection to the nominee(s), can nominate a student, faculty, staff or alumni.

Nomination process

Please include the following components:

  1. Complete the nomination form by obtaining the permission of the nominee(s), identified by a signature on the nomination form included in this package. You can, instead, attach an email that includes the nominee's permission to be nominated.
  2. Explain in a letter (maximum 500 words) how the nominee meets the description/criteria of the award (see the definitions of advocacy and activism on p.1).
  3. (If applicable) Describe with examples (maximum 250 words) how the contributions of the nominee(s) go above and beyond the expectations of their job, position or required responsibilities.
  4. Write a brief citation (maximum 150 words) summarizing information about the nominee(s), including achievements related to advocacy and/or activism.
  5. Include two additional letters of support from someone with direct knowledge of the nominee's advocacy and/or activism work and activities that fall above and beyond the expectations of their job, position or required responsibilities (maximum 500 words). These letters must be signed and dated. They should include examples related to specific community contributions, details of academic or volunteer work, unique characteristics, or other qualities demonstrating suitability and/or impact.
  6. Submit a resume or curriculum vitae (if relevant) for the nominee(s).
  7. Send the completed application package to

Resubmission: If you nominated an individual in the past who was not selected as a recipient, you may use the same nomination package this year. Please include a brief cover memo summarizing any new highlights and achievements, along with additional criteria that may have been overlooked previously, as well as an updated resume or CV. Contact if you have any questions about resubmission.

Past recipients

Dr. Jeff Kanohalidoh Corntassel is a professor in Indigenous Studies at UVic with a passion to supporting access to education, as well as a commitment to food security and environmental justice. His reach and impact is both local and national, and he continues to engage in relationships with Indigenous communities that advance Indigenous rights and self-determination.

Dr. Marilou Gagnon is a Professor in UVic's School of Nursing committed to addressing systemic or institutionalized barriers. She is a champion for others, dedicated to creating a more socially equitable society here at UVic and nationally, and has a passion for social justice, addressing stigma and harm reduction. Dr. Gagnon draws from her scholarship and nursing expertise to advocate for the rights of vulnerable people and marginalized communities, and inspires others to do the same.

Dr. Kundoqk, Jacquie Green is an associate professor in the School of Social Work, whose scholarship embraces Indigenous culture and anti-oppressive philosophies. She explores ways to help center marginalized people and communities through the lens of Indigenous livelihood, drawing upon her own experiences and relationships.

The UVic Sci EDI team is an undergraduate advocacy group in the Faculty of Science, dedicated to addressing barriers facing under-represented groups in their community. UVic Sci EDI co-organizers are Brittnie Spriel, Jennifer Glover and Rebecca Hansen. Members are Alana McPherson, Olivia Braniff, Tannin Standing, Lydia Walton, Makana Terry, Ellie Mcleod, Vivek Vishwanath and Linzhi Wu.

Ms. Sage Lacerte is a 3rd year undergraduate student in Gender and Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria and is from the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation in central B.C. Sage is a strong Indigenous youth leader and activist and the national youth ambassador for the Moosehide Campaign, a grassroots Indigenous movement to end violence towards women and children. Sage is often invited to speak as a youth leader and change-maker at local and national events on the topic of gender justice and equality, Indigenous resurgence and reconciliation. She is a board member of the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, an urban organization serving Indigenous urban individuals and communities and has recently launched an impact investing forum for young Indigenous women in BC. She is a role model and leader for Indigenous and non-Indigenous women.

Dr. Alexander Dunn has garnered respect in the international music community as a virtuoso performer, acclaimed teacher, dedicated mentor and enthusiastic supporter of emerging young talent. Dr. Dunn has advocated by insuring that those that come from less fortunate backgrounds may excel. Dr. Dunn has partnered with Remember the River, a non-profit organization that brings guitars to refugee camps in the Middle East. As a Canadian arm of Remember the River, Dr. Dunn sends guitarists into First Nations and impoverished communities. In 2018, Dr. Dunn worked with the NYC based Institute for International Education (IIE). The Orontes Guitar Quartet received an IIE fellowship enabling them to escape war-ravaged Syria and to come to UVic to work under Dr. Dunn’s mentorship. As a result, the quartet will perform across Canada in numerous events supporting refugees and people from war torn countries, bringing a unique narrative of music surviving in times of violence and war.

Ms. Karen Lithgow is an outstanding Biochemistry and Microbiology graduate student who has received multiple competitive national scholarships, published in top tier journals, and gained an international reputation for her infectious disease research achievements. Ms. Hannah Charnock is an extremely successful Chemistry undergraduate student who has maintained outstanding grades, excelled in her cutting-edge research projects, and been awarded a prestigious industry-academia award. Together they have pioneered the UVic Women in Science phenomenon that tackles the challenging obstacles encountered by women in science, and seeks to increase representation of women in scientific disciplines at all career stages. This endeavor is the epitome of transformative and innovative social change, and their success is evident through the groundswell of support received in their inaugural year. Their advocacy for gender equality will ensure a stronger and more inclusive environment at UVic that can serve as a role model for Universities across Canada and beyond.

Dr. Bruce Wallace is an outstanding community based researcher and advocate for the rights of people who use drugs to be involved in the development of programs, services and policies that impact their lives. He has long advocated for the establishment of supervised consumption services and raised awareness of the need for action to reduce the rising tide of drug poisoning (overdose) deaths in our community. He exemplifies the spirit of this award in his advocacy with community groups and agencies that are impacted by the harms of drug use. Bruce’s voice is one of compassion, reason and responsibility in an area that is often fraught with myths and stereotypes about people who use drugs and the need for harm reduction services.

Macayla Yan is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the departments of Psychology and Indigenous Studies. With a friend, she established Saanich Parks and Recreation’s first safe weekly drop-in pace for LGBTQ youth in 2015 and has maintained it since. Through Macayla’s facilitation, this space has engaged in regular celebrations and parties, resource-sharing, discussion, and attendance to major events such as the Victoria Pride Parade. Macayla has also worked to support LGBTQ students at UVic, through peer support and safer space coordination with UVic Pride and as a facilitator for the UVic Asexual/Aromantic Caucus. Much of Macayla’s work has also been focused around supporting students and youth with disabilities – as an invigilator for the Disability Resource Centre at Camosun College, and in volunteering with Best Buddies UVic, Lifetime Networks Victoria and Operation Trackshoes.

Jeannine Carriere is a tireless advocate for Indigenous students and Métis people. As a professor in the School of Social Work Jeannine promotes equity and inclusion in all of her actions on campus and beyond. Dr. Carriere has just completed the first book on Métis Child Welfare in Canada (with Cathy Richardson) which will be published next month. Her decades of Métis scholarship, research, teaching and mentorship have resulted in the federal government recognizing Métis status for the first time. In all of her work, Dr. Carriere pushes for positive change in support of Indigenous peoples, Indigenous child adoption and Indigenous leadership within the university.