by Johnny Almond
November 3, 2010
TORONTO — Lee Ann McKenna has been named this year's winner of the Greater Toronto Area YMCA
's Peace Medallion. A key focus of the nomination is her work with the Sudanese Organization for Non-Violence and Development
(SONAD), a non-profit working with marginalized people in Sudan to reduce poverty, promote human rights and combat HIV/AIDS through training and advocacy.
McKenna's work in Conflict Transformation training has yielded exponential results since it began nearly six years ago. These efforts are supported by the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
, the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation
(SweFOR) and Woodbine Heights Baptist Church
The YMCA World Peace Week began in 1984 when YMCA Canada added an entire week of peace-related activities to follow Peace Day. For that reason, the observance is actually eight days long, running from the third to fourth Saturday in November each year.
Unique to Canada, YMCA World Peace Week promotes activities and educational programs to help people explore peace from a personal, community and international perspective. The YMCA teaches children, youth and adults about the many dimensions of peace such as acceptance, inclusiveness, caring, respect and responsibility.
As part of the annual observance, YMCA Peace Medallions are awarded each year to individuals building peace in their communities and inspiring the lives of others. McKenna will be honored in a Nov. 23 ceremony at Toronto's West End YMCA, 931 College St.
Photo: Lee McKenna (left) is shown with a group at a Conflict Transformation training in Sudan.
—Johnny Almond is BPFNA's Communications & Technology Manager.