Human Rights Activist to Earn Honourary Doctorate

WINNIPEG, MB –The distinguished Father Patrick Desbois, renowned for his work in the areas of conflict resolution, reconciliation and restorative dialogue will be honoured by The University of Winnipeg with an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity honoris causa at a Special Convocation to be held on Thursday, May 2, 2013 after the 12th Annual Holocaust Symposium at UWinnipeg.

“Father Desbois’ work and commitment in promoting dialogue amongst different ethnic and religious groups, most notably between the Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths, is a testament to his dedication to social justice and human rights,” expressed UWinnipeg President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy.

“Father Desbois’ extraordinary work restoring the memory of the first 1.5 million victims of the Shoah (the preferred term for ‘Holocaust’) has created an awareness of this dark period of history”, said Belle Millo, Chair, Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre, Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. “We are very pleased that The University of Winnipeg is honouring him in this way and we share this important partnership in promoting social justice, encouraging dialogue and fighting antisemitism for over a decade.”

Father Patrick Desbois’ Biography
Desbois has devoted his life to confronting anti-Semitism. The grandson of a WWII French prisoner held in the Rawa Ruska camp on the Poland-Ukraine border, Desbois began his research in 2002, on the story of the Jewish, Roma and other victims murdered in Eastern Europe during WWII by the Nazi mobile killing units, known as the Einsatzgruppen.

In 2004, Desbois co-found Yahad – In Unum, meaning together in Hebrew and Latin, an organization that supports dialogue between Jewish and Catholic authorities. His extraordinary work to preserve the memory of Ukraine’s former Jewish community and to advance understanding of the crimes committed there during the Holocaust has received international attention and given voice to those that were lost during this dark time in history. For more information on his work visit Yahad – In Unum.

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E:

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