On November 17th, OJEN staff, directors and guests met by Zoom for our 18th Annual General Meeting (AGM). Approximately 60 people attended the virtual event to celebrate a successful year of justice education activities and to honour three OJEN award recipients.
Board Co-Chair, Justice Katrina Mulligan of the Ontario Court of Justice, opened the AGM by welcoming guests, including special guests, Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, Sharon Nicklas, Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice, Geoffrey Morawetz, and Chief Justice of the Court of Justice for Ontario, George Strathy.
Highlights from 2020 were presented in the form of a short video which profiled some of the programs and resources we have created or adapted on account of Covid-19. It concluded with our thanks to OJEN volunteers and partners who helped us deliver meaningful justice education initiatives throughout this difficult time.
The main emphasis of this year’s AGM, however, was celebrating three OJEN award recipients. Each year OJEN recognizes individuals throughout the province who make exceptional contributions to justice education and promote understanding of Ontario’s justice system. Ordinarily, the awards would be presented at in-person events throughout the year. Due to Covid-19, all three award recipients were honoured at this virtual ceremony.
Miscia Sullivan, a third year law student attending Osgoode Hall Law School, was recognized with the Tate Herbert Post-Secondary Volunteer Award. Ted Herbert, representing the Herbert family, made note of Miscia’s dedication and commitment to helping youth. As a volunteer, and later as one of six OJEN Fellows in 2019-2020, Miscia delivered outstanding and innovative programs in her community, and demonstrated a strong passion for working with youth from marginalized communities.
Rita Gravina received the Hux-Kiteley Exemplary Justice Educator Award. Justice Fran Kiteley and Allan Hux announced the award, which recognizes an educator who has shown exceptional leadership in justice education. Rita has taught for 24 years and currently teaches at the Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. With an enthusiasm for law and social justice, she engages students in experiential learning opportunities, encouraging them to explore the different ways law and justice intersect with their lives. She introduces her students to a wide variety of justice professionals and social activists – connecting them to current legal and social justice work happening in their city. Ms Gravina is the 10th recipient of the Hux-Kiteley Exemplary Justice Educator Award.
Jamie Glass was presented with the Chief Justices Award by Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, Sharon Nicklas, Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice, Geoffrey Morawetz, and Chief Justice of Ontario, George Strathy. As a law teacher, Jamie taught for over 20 years, retiring earlier this year from Middlefield Collegiate Institute in the York Region District School Board. An innovative and impactful teacher, Jamie’s contributions to justice education extended well beyond the classroom. Among the accomplishments noted by his nominators were his leadership in equity initiatives, helping to organize conferences and programs in support of diversity in the legal profession. He taught professional development courses in law for high school teachers and co-authored a Grade 11 Law textbook, currently used in Ontario classrooms.
Congratulations to all three award recipients!
This AGM was the last meeting for our current board of directors co-chair, Justice Katrina Mulligan, and former board of directors co-chair, Jan Haskings-Winner. OJEN Executive Director, Jess Reekie thanked both of them for their strong support for OJEN over two terms of office. They will be greatly missed!