The YMCAs of Quebec’s 2011 Peace Medals
The YMCAs of Québec is pleased to announce today the winners of the 25th edition of the Peace Medals.
In an emotion-filled ceremony held this afternoon at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Complexe Desjardins, at Montreal, all of the finalists who work to promote peace locally, nationally, and internationally were gathered.
More than a simple reward, the Peace Medals is a way for The YMCAs of Québec to affirm the importance that social commitment and community involvement holds for this charitable organization.
After careful consideration of nearly 30 nominees – a record number, the Selection Committee composed of volunteers and Chaired by Brian Bronfman, whittled down the number to this year’s eleven finalists. The YMCAs of Québec is pleased to unveil the four winners of the 25th edition of the Peace Medals:
**Drew Steeves**, for having started the Zero Force Cycling Team which undertook a 7500 km cycling trip from Vancouver to Halifax in the summer of 2011 in order to raise money for the Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization created by Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire.
**Raoul Lincourt**, for dedicating much of his retirement over the last ten years with the Centre de services de justice réparatrice (CSJR) where he serves as President and also facilitates sessions between offenders and their victims, both in penitentiaries or within the community.
**Local Peace Initiative**
**Burgundy Urban Mediation Project (BUMP)**, whose urban mediators walk the neighbourhood streets every day and speak with youth in order to help resolve conflicts before they erupt, helping put an end to fights among street gang members.
**International Peace Initiative**
**Équitas**, whose programs empower individuals and communities to promote progressive change and confront abuses of power. In particular, the International Human Rights Training Program and the Play it Fair! programs have contributed to the excellent reputation Equitas enjoys as a global leader in the field of human rights education and training.
A surprise this year, The YMCAs of Québec also presented a Coup de coeur medal to Dawson College which was nominated in the Local Peace Initiative category. Following the tragic events that occurred on its campus in 2006, 5 years ago already, Dawson College took it upon itself to act in accordance with the Manifesto 2000 For a Culture of Peace and Non-violence.
In addition to these five awards, this year’s Honorary Peace Medal was presented to Mr. Richard J. Renaud, Chairman of the Board and founder of Wynnchurch Capital. Mr. Renaud is actively involved with a number of organizations including the Roasters Foundation, was Chair of the Board at St. Mary’s Hospital for nine years, and has funded the construction of a complex at Concordia University. Furthermore, over the course of his career he has received several important honours such as the “Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice” from Pope John Paul II for his distinguished service with the Church of Montreal, as well as the “Unsung Heroes of Compassion” award from the Dalai-Lama.
**An initiative that inspires others!**
The Peace Medals ceremony is an opportunity for The YMCAs of Québec to contribute to the well-being of the community. Proceeds from this 25th edition will provide youth leaders from Québec and partner YMCAs in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador, and in Haiti with the opportunity to grow and develop through YMCA programs that promote respect, understanding, peace, and cooperation.
In its 25 years, over 80 individuals and groups have received the prestigious Peace Medal award. The relentless work of all these laureates, who fight for the rights of everyone to live a life in peace, has surely helped others think peace, do it, and inspire it. It is in this spirit that every year since 1987, The YMCAs of Québec has been highlighting the work of these individuals who have the promotion of peace at heart and, in so doing, reminds the community that their concerns are also those of the YMCA. As a result, the organization encourages all of Québec, youth in particular, to become actively involved both locally and globally.
**About the YMCA Peace Medals**
The YMCA defines peace as a state where all individuals and communities live free from conflict, violence and war, are able to satisfy their basic human needs, are treated fairly, and are able to reach their full potential in life. Complex factors that lead to poverty, social injustice and instability, conflict, violence and war must be addressed to achieve peace. This may seem like a huge endeavour, but it begins one step at a time with the individuals and groups in our local community. Since 1981, YMCAs in 127 countries around the world have observed YMCA Peace Day each November. For more information, visit ymcaquebec.org/en/ys_quebec/medal/ or join The YMCAs of Québec – Peace Medals page on Facebook.
**About The YMCAs of Québec**
The first YMCA in North America was founded in Montreal in November 1851. The YMCAs of Québec is a charitable organization that helps improve the well-being of children, youth, adults, and seniors. Its ten Y centres, International Language School, Ski &Snowboard School, Residence, Camp Y Kanawana, and its 30 points of service across the province are visited each year by more than 115,000 people. The YMCAs of Québec is part of the Canadian network of 53 YMCA associations. For more information visit ymcaquebec.org or facebook.com/ymcaquebec.