Local YMCA Announces Guest Speaker for Peace Medal Awards

Published on: 2019/07/18 - in Releases

RELEASE — Tom Jackson – Officer of the Order of Canada, actor, recording artist, activist and philanthropist – is coming to Kingston on November 1 for the YMCA’s Peace Medal Awards.

The actor is well-known for his portrayal of Billy Twofeathers in Shining Time Station, his guest role in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and playing Chief Peter Kenidi in North of 60. Singing and touring the Huron Carole has raised millions of dollars for Canada’s food banks.

In November, the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, together with YMCAs across Canada, celebrate peace in our communities and reflect on the peace-building work that happens all year both inside and outside the YMCA.

“We are gratified that Tom has agreed to speak at this year’s awards,” says Rob Adams, CEO of YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “For more than 40 years, he has demonstrated the values of fairness, inclusion, empathy, security and respect for diversity. Tom has spoken out for those who are disenfranchised and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars and in-kind services for food banks and other charities across Canada.”

Jackson has crafted a compassionate stage of caring. He has embraced his life experiences and championed for the marginalized. While living on the streets of Winnipeg, his personal search for identity led to bonds with those who were outcast and marginalized. His voice became his way off the streets and earned him roles on radio, television, theatre and film.

He is also a Juno and Gemini Humanitarian Award winner, a 10-time honourary degree recipient, a winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and is an ambassador for the Canadian Red Cross.

“You don’t have to change the whole world, you just have to change your world, and the rest will follow,” says Jackson. “The Peace Medal recognizes this and the impact that one person can have on helping others and fostering communities of peace.”

Each year, YMCAs across Canada celebrate acts of peace by recognizing individuals and groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within their community or communities elsewhere in the world.

Peace-building is core to the YMCA’s commitment to strengthening the foundation of healthy communities and part of the YMCA of Eastern Ontario’s year-round programs. During YMCA Peace Week, local peacemakers will receive special recognition. In Kingston, peacemakers will receive a medal at the local Peace Medal breakfast event on November 1.

“It’s important that we work together to create peaceful communities where everyone feels that they belong” says Rob Adams, CEO at the YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “By celebrating YMCA Peace Week together, we are taking a stand and creating the future we want for our community, country and world.”

Peacemakers are selected through a nomination process. Watch for the call for nominations in August on our website at eo.ymca.ca.

Release (re-ordered): YMCA of Eastern Ontario
Photo: Tom Jackson on Facebook