War Child Canada Founder Speaks at U of G Thursday

January 08, 2009 - News Release

The Canadian medical doctor and political activist who founded War Child Canada will speak at the University of Guelph Jan. 15 as part of Citizenship Awareness Week and the Positive Social Action Conference.

Dr. Samantha Nutt will speak at 7 p.m. in War Memorial Hall. Her lecture, "Social Responsibility — Acting Upon Our Responsibilities as Citizens," is free and open to the University community, but people must register in advance online. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and there will be 50 tickets available at the door for the general public.

Nutt founded the Canadian chapter of War Child in 1999 and currently serves as its executive director. Operating in 10 war-torn countries, War Child Canada partners with local organizations to do innovative humanitarian work supporting women and children.

She has more than 10 years' experience working in war zones and has helped children around the world. She was recognized by Maclean's magazine as one of “12 Canadians Making a Difference” and was named one of “Ten Outstanding Canadian Women" by Hello! Canada. Time magazine declared her “One of Canada’s Five Leading Activists,” and she was honoured with the Globe and Mail’s “Top 40 Under 40” award.

A specialist in child and family medicine and public health, refugee health and women's health, Nutt is on staff at Sunnybrook and Women's Health Science Centre and is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Citizenship Awareness Week runs Jan. 11 to 18. It's sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs in collaboration with a number of other University organizations.

"We've organized events that look at different aspects of citizenship and civic engagement, from volunteering to chatting with your members of provincial and federal parliament to developing a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it's like for new immigrants in our country," said Janet Doner, co-ordinator of citizenship and community engagement in U of G's Student Life Office.

This week's activities include mock citizenship exams, a tenants' rights workshop, a documentary, a coffee hour with Guelph's MP and MPP, and a tour of places of worship in the Guelph community. Details and a complete schedule are available online.

Related to Citizenship Awareness Week is the third annual Positive Social Action Conference being held Jan. 17 and 18 at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. Presented by Student Volunteer Connections and the Central Student Association, it aims to engage students around issues of becoming involved locally and internationally.

This year's theme is "Creative Resistance, Social Resilience." There will be panel discussions, hands-on activities and seminars Saturday, and participants will volunteer in the community Sunday. The conference is free and open to the University community and general public, with advance registration. Registration and more information is available online.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, l.hunt@uoguelph.ca, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982, bagunn@uoguelph.ca

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