UBC the award of an honorary degree is recognition by the University of British Columbia of distinguished achievement or of outstanding service. The criteria for the award of an honorary degree are excellence, eminence and accomplishment. Nominees must be exceptionally distinguished: scholars, creative artists, public servants, persons prominent in the community and the professions, and others who have made significant contributions locally, nationally, and globally

Who is Teesta Setalvad ?

She is the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an organisation formed to fight for justice for the victims of communal violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002. UBC described Teesta Setalvad as a “civil rights activist, author and award-winning journalist in India who played a prominent role in the campaign for justice for the victims of the 2002 massacre of thousands of Muslims in the state of Gujarat. As a secularist, she has worked in the field of human rights and law to expose majoritarianism and religious fanaticism, both in India and in other parts of the world, and has been influential on issues related to the rights of women, religious minorities, Indigenous persons and the LGBTQ community.”

The nine others chosen in 2020 include Tantoo Cardinal, C.M, a celebrated Canadian actor of Cree and Métis descent. Tantoo Cardinal has a remarkable record of performance on stage, television, and film and has been widely recognised for her contributions to the growth and development of aboriginal performing arts in Canada.

One of Canada’s most respected authors, Lawrence Hill will receive the award. He has twice been a winner of the CBC Canada Reads prize and a recipient of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Known best for his fiction, including The Book of Negroes (2007) and The Illegal (2015), he has also received accolades for his non-fiction work, including Blood: The Stuff of Life, the source of his 2013 Massey Lectures.

Another prominent name is musician Doug Johnson. A member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Doug Johnson is a pianist and composer whose body of work ranges from an extensive catalogue of film and television soundtrack composition to multiple Juno Awards as a founding member of Lover boy, one of the most successful recording groups in the history of the Canadian music industry. While continuing to perform 60-70 shows per year with Lover boy, Doug also composes soundtracks for productions concerning humanitarian, environmental and aboriginal issues in Canada and other parts of the world.

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