Human rights award named for former Truro resident

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TRURO - A political activist originally from Truro and a supporter for sexual assault victims are being honoured by the province for their efforts at promoting human rights.

Rocky Jones.

"These awards are our way of saying thank you to those special Nova Scotians who have taken that extra step to promote and protect human rights," said Lena Metlege Diab, minister responsible for the Human Rights Act. "The people we are honouring are true champions of their causes and deserve this recognition."

The late Burnley (Rocky) Jones will be honoured posthumously on Tuesday with a Human Rights Award at the International Human Rights Day Event being held by the Human Rights Commission.

The theme of this year's event is Speak Up Against Discrimination.

And in honour of Jones, the individual award will now be known as the Dr. Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones Human Rights Award.

Margaret Mauger of the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre in Truro will be one of two people named as the first recipients of the newly named award.

The other individual is Sherri Lecker, executive director of Adsum House in Halifax.

Jones was a passionate advocate for civil rights and social equity. He was a founding member of the Black United Front of Nova Scotia, worked for Dalhousie Legal Aid and then started his own law firm. He helped develop the Indigenous Black and Mi'kmaq Program at the Dalhousie Law School and received several awards, including the Order of Nova Scotia. He died in July at the age of 71.

Mauger counsels all survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse without discrimination and works to educate people on the issue.

She also lobbies for change for the survivors by working with local colleges, schools and service providers and is described as "a true advocate" for people who have been hurt along with being a champion for their recovery.

Mauger could not be reached for comment by press time Friday.

"These awards are important in that they remind us of the genuine capacity that people in our province have for caring and giving," said Tracey Williams, director and CEO of the Human Rights Commission. "We are grateful to these recipients for reminding us of valuable lessons like inclusivity and dignity for all."



Organizations: Human Rights Commission, Dalhousie Legal Aid, Colchester Sexual Assault Centre Adsum House United Front Order of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Truro, Halifax, Nova Scotia

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