CoDev Recognized for Human Rights Work

We are thrilled and honoured to be the 2012 recipient of the Renate Shearer Award for Human Rights. Thank you to the BC Human Rights Coalition and the Vancouver Branch of the United Nations Association in Canada for recognizing the work of CoDev and our Latin American partners!


CoDevelopment Canada Recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights

Vancouver, BC, 5 December 2012 – CoDev is honoured to be the 2012 recipient of the Renate Shearer Award from the United Nations Association in Canada, Vancouver Branch and the B.C. Human Rights Coalition.

In selecting CoDev for the award, our work with our Latin American partners was cited as impressive and in need of recognition. “It is our hope that giving you the Renate Shearer Award this year will offer such an opportunity [for recognition] in addition to saying “thank you” to all of you on behalf of the human rights community in B.C.”

CoDev’s Latin American partners work to protect the rights of workers, women and communities across the region. CoDev-supported programs include evidence gathering for legal cases and human rights violation denunciations in Colombia, “Gender School” (workshops on violence against women) in El Salvador, and the Non-Sexist Pedagogy – a “train the trainer” model used by educators throughout Central America to train other teachers on pedagogy promoting gender equality and inclusion.

“It is an honour for CoDev to be recognized by local human rights activists for our work towards social change and equality,” says CoDev Executive Director Barbara Wood. “As Renate Shearer showed through her life’s work, when people come together to address inequalities, change does happen!”

For more than two decades Renate Shearer was a tireless advocate for human rights. She worked with the YMCA, the City of Vancouver, and taught in the School of Social Work at UBC. In 1981 Shearer was appointed as a provincial human rights commissioner, an unpaid appointment but for her the culmination of all her community work. Throughout her career, Shearer was very active in social service-related issues, the promotion of human rights, and the abolition of racism. In 1983 she became very involved in the Solidarity Coalition. In 1988 Renate Shearer passed away from cancer. Past recipients of the Renate Shearer award include Miriam Palacios, human rights activist with Oxfam Canada and David Eby of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

CoDevelopment Canada is a B.C.-based NGO that works for social change and global education in the Americas. Founded in 1985 by a group of activists who wanted to go beyond financial aid, CoDev builds partnerships between like-minded organizations in Canada and Latin America to foster learning, social change, and community empowerment. These partnerships educate Canadians about Latin America and allow them to directly support the region. Such connections build solidarity, mutual understanding and ultimately improve prospects for a fairer global order.

The awards ceremony, held in celebration of International Human Rights Day, provides an opportunity for those working in the human rights arena to come together and celebrate accomplishments while paying tribute to the life and work of Renate Shearer.

Award Ceremony: Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 5:30pm-8:00pm. JJ’s Restaurant, Vancouver Community College (3rd Floor), 250 West Pender Street. Admission by donation.


CoDevelopment Canada: Kyla Epstein, Communications & Development Director;


BC Human Rights Coalition: Robyn Durling, Communications Officer;

604-689-8474 Ext 205;

Renate Shearer Award

Each year on International Human Rights Day, the Renate Shearer award is presented by the B.C. Human Rights Coalition and the United Nations Association in Canada, Vancouver Branch, to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to human rights. This award is a memorial to the life and work of Renate Shearer who was a champion of equality and dignity for all.

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One Response to CoDev Recognized for Human Rights Work

  1. bonnie cowan says:

    I had the great good fortune to have Renate Shearer as one of my teachers at UBC. She was an elegant, articulate and sensitive woman whose ability to reach out to others was extraordinary, particularly if they were suffering injustices of any kind. I remember calling her in 1988 for a reference to return to graduate school. She died later that year.

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