Each year, the Halifax Cornwallis Chapter of the Canadian Progress Club (CPC) celebrates inspirational women making a difference in the community.
Among this year’s recipients of the Women of Excellence award were several women with Dal connections, most prominently three Dalhousie faculty members: Christine Chambers (Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience, and the IWK Health Centre) and Michelle Williams-Lorde (Schulich School of Law) were feted in the “Education & Research” category, while Mary Lynch (Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry and Capital Health) who was celebrated in the Health, Sport and Wellness category.
“I think the wonderful thing about it is that it indicates that the management of pain matters to people,” says Dr. Lynch, who was humbled that CPC would champion her work.
“It means someone has recognized that making the world better for people living with pain is important. There’s a huge role for educating the public that chronic pain is real. People living with pain are not wimps, and they’re not just looking for drugs. They deal with real, ongoing pain and it’s something that could happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.”
Prof. Williams-Lorde is the director of the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative in the Schulich School of Law. Its goal is to reduce structural and systemic discrimination by increasing the representation of Black and Aboriginal lawyers.
“My first reaction was, ‘I’m not in this league!’” laughs Prof. Williams-Lorde, who like Dr. Lynch, sees the honour as reflecting a larger body of work.
“It’s recognition, validation of the work of the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative,” she says. “I’m doing my part, hopefully, in standing on the shoulders of those who came before, and hopefully encouraging and inspiring students to go on and do good work in the community themselves.”
Dr. Chambers, the Canada Research Chair in Pain and Child Health, says the entire experience of attending the banquet, which was also a fundraiser for Phoenix Youth Programs, was an inspiring one.
“It really spoke to me about the breadth of talent and, really, the excellence that exists across so many fields in our province,” she says.
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