Lucia Lorenzi Receives Governor General’s Award

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, announced Port Coquitlam’s Lucia Lorenzi is one of six outstanding Canadian women who are receiving the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case for 2016.

Lucia Lorenzi (youth recipient) – Activist, volunteer, educator and advocate

Lucia Lorenzi is a tireless advocate for gender equality in Canada. As a doctoral student at the University of British Columbia, she was a campus organizer around issues of rape culture, harassment and misogyny, and has become a prominent voice in the national conversation on campus violence. As an outspoken assault survivor, Dr. Lorenzi has used her own experience as a basis for education. Through public dialogue and personal vulnerability, she has involved both survivors and communities at large in creating strategies for safer, better-informed, and more supportive environments for women. She has served on the UBC Sexual Assault Expert Panel, which made recommendations for the university’s sexual assault policy, worked with EVA BC on the Western Canada Sexual Violence Initiative, and worked with Toronto-based feminist organization femifesto on their media guide for reporting about sexual assault. As a writer and blogger, she works to challenge rape culture. Dr. Lorenzi uses social media to promote an understanding of contemporary gender equality issues, particularly rape culture and sexualized violence; many of her posts have gone viral. Her writing offers a clear, brave, hopeful voice for change online, where misogyny is a daily reality. Dr. Lorenzi’s academic career is also focused on addressing sexualized and gendered violence, and her research has been recognized with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Having earned her PhD in English Literature from UBC in 2016, she now works as an independent scholar and consultant. Dr. Lorenzi lives in Port Coquitlam, B.C..

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Other award recipients are:

  • Cecilia Benoit (Victoria, BC) – Academic, mentor, advocate
  • Anna-Louise Crago (Toronto, ON) – Academic, women’s rights advocate
  • Pascale Navarro (Montréal, QC) – Journalist and author
  • Norma Jean Profitt (Yarmouth, NS) – Academic, community leader, international activist
  • Diane Redsky (Winnipeg, MB) – Community leader, advocate for Indigenous women’s rights

Persons Day occurs each year on October 18th. This annual celebration marks the pivotal moment in 1929 when five Canadian women – Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and Nellie McClung – won the right for women to be legally recognized as ‘persons’ in Canada. The Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Persons Case.

Quick Facts

  • This year’s Persons Case Awards will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on November 15, 2016, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of women first achieving the right to vote in Manitoba in 1916.
  • Saskatchewan and Alberta followed Manitoba granting women the right to vote in 1916. Ontario extended voting rights to women in 1917. By 1918, federal legislation was passed granting all women 21 years of age and over the right to vote in general elections. The first federal election in which women voted under the universal franchise was in 1921.
  • This year’s recipients are being announced during Women’s History Month, a time each year when Canadians celebrate women’s contributions to our country. This year’s theme “Because of Her” reminds us of the extraordinary women who have blazed trails throughout Canada’s history.
  • A video entitled “Women. Are. Persons.” can be viewed at women.gc.ca describing the Famous Five and the Persons Case, which paved the way for women to participate more fully in all aspects of Canadian life.

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