The Linden School presented Toronto Ombudsman Fiona Crean with the 10th Annual Nancy Ruth Award at the school's annual Celebration to Greet the Summer. This award, named for Senator Nancy Ruth, is given each year to a woman who has acted as an outstanding role model for Linden students, and whose example and actions have made a lasting contribution to the life of the school. Read our press release to learn more about the award and Fiona Crean.
Excerpt From Fiona Crean’s Acceptance Speech
It is so exhilarating to be back in the Linden community. As I watch the Linden community change and grow, I feel such pride being a part of her roots.
I’m so touched by this recognition from the Linden family. It is both a great honour and humbling. Thank you very much.
Before I leave the podium however, I have a message for our new graduates and everyone in this community this evening.
We cannot be satisfied with the status quo. But we must also guard against any tendency to expect that change in the status quo will “just happen.” I challenge all of us to take risks, to make room for those who are not at the table, women and girls who live on the margins.
I challenge you wherever you go to speak truth to power, to hold our public institutions to account. To challenge takes courage. As Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
Many of the changes we want to see “in the system” must also occur in ourselves. It is one thing for each of us to defend and advance our rights, and another to create a culture in which everyone’s rights are protected and advanced. Engaging in these challenges can be profoundly difficult. But we must learn to understand competing interests, seek compromise, ways to accommodate. We must resolve differences between ourselves and others with respect to our views, our perspectives, our lived experiences. To do otherwise is to perpetuate conflict, and worse, it is to shut people out, leave entire communities in the cold without voice.
And so we as go forward, let’s challenge the status quo, engage in the dialogue that says what kind of community, city, society do we want?
And to you new graduates, go out and make much of yourselves. Reach beyond your grasp and always be true to yourself.