The Paul Yuzyk Award for multiculturalism is awarded annually to an individual or group that has demonstrated initiative to advancing diversity, multiculturalism, and the integration of newcomers to Canada. The award is named after Senator Yuzyk, a member of the Senate of Canada from February 1963 to July 1986. Mr. Yuzyk played a key role in the development of Canadian multiculturalism policy and the acknowledgment of the “third force” of Canadian Society by recognizing multiculturalism amongst Canadians who were of neither British nor French decent.
Jason Kenney, former Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism, announced on July 3rd that the 2013 Paul Yuzyk Award has been given to Bashir Ahmed of Edmonton, Alberta. Ahmed was selected from 58 nominations from across Canada. The winner of the Paul Yuzyk Award received a certificate of honour signed by Minister Kenney and a grant for $20,000 for an eligible, registered, non-for-profit Canadian organization of his choice. Mr. Ahmed has chosen Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization.
“For more than 20 years, Mr. Ahmed has worked tirelessly in both Ottawa and Edmonton to advocate the importance of multiculturalism and help integrate Somali newcomers, particularly the youth, in Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “I am happy to announce him as the recipient of this year’s Paul Yuzyk Award for Multiculturalism.”
Mr. Ahmed is a Somali immigrant himself and arrived in Toronto, Canada in 1989. He started working with multiculturalism issues in 1992 by volunteering with Carleton Community and Health Services in Ottawa. Mr. Admed founded the Association of Somali Teacher and initiated the Multicultural Liaison program in Ottawa. He was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Somali Canadian Education and Rural Development Organization in Edmonton, and became involved with the issue of Canadian multiculturalism in order to enhance the immigration experience for Somali immigrants coming to Canada and to break down cultural barriers.
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