The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) has awarded the inaugural Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize to a graduating student in 23 law schools in Canada. Niamh Leonard, who will graduate from the BCL/JD program at McGill this spring, was named one of the winners.
“We are very proud of the inaugural winners of the Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella Prize, who represent the values of equality and equity we need in our country as we move forward,” said RSC President Dr. Jeremy N. McNeil in the press release.
“Niamh Leonard has a decade of experience working on social impact initiatives, from equipping young people to become active citizens at Apathy is Boring, to supporting refugee claimants at Welcome Collective, to researching how surveillance impacts human rights at Citizen Lab,” said the RSC citation.
Prior to law school, Leonard was a program officer at the McConnell Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that applies social innovation and social finance approaches to some of Canada’s greatest challenges: the equitable transition to a low-carbon economy; reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; and the development of inclusive, resilient communities.
Leonard is a board member of The Schumacher Center for a New Economics and of Welcome Collective.
The RSC established the Prize in honour of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, a changemaker celebrated for her visionary intellectual contributions and commitment to building equality and equity across Canadian society and beyond.
The Prize in the amount of $1,000 is presented annually to a graduating law student in every law school in Canada.
The initiative to establish the Prize was led by the Right Hon. Joe Clark, Maureen McTeer and Shirley Greenberg, and the Prize has been made possible due to generous contributions from Greenberg and Nancy Ruth.