The Drawing Board is pleased to announce that our very own writer and researcher, Liz Hill, has been awarded the Field Law Leilani Muir Graduate Research Scholarship for her work in History. The award is funded by Field Law via the Edmonton Community Foundation and the Calgary Foundation in honour of the legal victory won by Leilani Muir and victims of sterilization. It is awarded to a graduate student in Sociology, Psychology, or History and Classics who demonstrates research promise. Preference is given to students whose research interests are related to the areas of human rights, persons with disabilities, or social well-being. Join us in celebrating Liz’s success!

lizLiz’s thesis research deals with the subjects of madness and leprosy in the late Middle Ages. Entitled “Roots of Persecution: Madness and Leprosy in the late Middle Ages,” Liz’s thesis addresses the conceptual underpinnings of persecution by comparing medieval intellectual and moral understandings of madness and leprosy to the social treatment of lepers and mad people in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries. She focuses in particular on the collective social identity and treatment of the leper in contrast to the individualized identities and treatment of mad people, and how that difference explains the periodic persecutory violence to which lepers were subjected, but not mad people.

The Drawing Board is pleased to announce that our very own, Nakita Valerio, has been named as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.  The recognition comes as a result of Rotarian Jaima Gellar’s nomination in the wake of Nakita’s commitment to international development, community work in Canada and multiple initiatives focused on the status of women, Islamophobia and Indigenous rights and reconciliation.

Past and present initiatives include:

  • Political and social engagement as Director with Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Muslim-Jewish Women’s Dialogue Group with Beth Shalom Synagogue
  • Muslim Women and Hijab Discussion Panel
  • Women’s Safety Classes
  • Partnerships with WRIP, Humanities 101, FGSR’s Community Outreach, Native Studies Program at the University of Alberta
  • Muslim community education on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Representative of Islam at City Hall’s Interfaith Conference (December)
  • Public Policy development in the area of historical education with Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Commitment to International Development and Global Cooperation, the building of a primary school in Morocco and various social justice initiatives in the country
  • Inter-religious Academic Historical Research aimed at Public Policy development in the area of historical education in the Kingdom of Morocco
  • Youth engagement through education programs with Edmonton Public School Board
    • and much more…

The Drawing Board has had a very busy year so far, and May has been the busiest month yet! The lead-in to May was an amazing ceremony in the Edmonton City Council Chambers on April 28, 2015 where Mayor Don Iveson and councillors honoured and recognized the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s 2015 Top 30 Under 30, including our very own, Nakita Valerio! The banter among the council was the highlight of the trip, including standing to have your name called on and being recognized for your hard work, achievements and continued perseverance in the realm of social justice endeavours.

council chamber view
The view from Nakita’s seat before Council was called to order .

Of particular interest was the incredible spoken word poem by Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, Mary Pinkoski, read an incredible piece testifying to the diversity and harsh beauty that is our province’s capital city, seamlessly weaving together current events with iconic images to create ” a body of Edmonton” that is, at once, recognizable and familiar, and at the same time, far more multivocal than any of us give it credit for. It was an incredible end to a beautiful ceremony that Nakita won’t soon forget!

ACGC city council