Dawson spends an evening with Nobel Peace Prize recipients
Through the extraordinary cooperation between the Dawson College Foundation and the Chambre de commerce du Montréal Métropolitain (CCMM), 30 Dawson students and their teachers were able to spend an evening with the recipients of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, collectively known as the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, on May 16 at the Centre Pierre-Péladeau.
The Executive Director of the Dawson College Foundation, Francis Lessard, with special guest Brian Bronfman, founding partner of the Dawson Peace Centre, led the delegation of Dawson students and teachers. Participation at the event was made possible through the CCMM, with support from Dawson College Model United Nations, DCMUN Coordinator Ted Irwin and DCMUN Faculty Advisor Chris Bourne, Chris Adam from Sustainable Dawson, and from the Office of Academic Development, Dean Barbara Freedman and Assistant Dean Rob Cassidy.
The Tunisian Quartet was represented by Mr. Houcine Abassi, Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union, Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, and Mr. Abdessatar Ben Moussa, President of the Tunisian Human Rights League. Due to health-related issues, Mr. Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, was unable to attend. Nizar Zaghdani, Stratège principal for the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, took Mr. Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh’s place on stage and played the role of translator for Mr. Abassi who answered all of his questions in Arabic, making the evening very special.
The CCMM’s event part of the Bell International Leaders Series has welcomed speakers from around the world who embody and promote values aligning with those of the Dawson Peace Centre. The Quartet is a group of four organizations who, following the 2011 Arab Spring, played a pivotal role in Tunisia’s transition into a pluralistic democracy. The Quartet’s concerted efforts resulted in the holding of presidential and legislative elections, as well as the ratification of a new Tunisian Constitution in 2014. “Our future rests in the hands of young women and men”, said Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui, member of the Quartet. She added, “we need to invest in listening to youth and giving them the opportunity to be present in civil society which is the best way to fight radicalization”.
Since its 2014 inauguration, the Dawson Peace Centre has successfully spread its mission of achieving peace and nonviolence through education and action and has served as the foundation for various Peace Initiatives at the College. Mr. Bronfman has played an indispensable role in the creation of the Peace Centre. As President of the Peace Grantmakers Network, he has made its expertise, collaboration, and the strong relationships forged with organizations and individuals that work in the area of applied peace, available to Dawson College.
“As someone who has witnessed and assisted in the development of the Peace Centre since its inception, I can honestly say that the emergence of such an important resource for peace in a tremendous institution like Dawson fills me with pride and joy,” said Mr. Bronfman, a champion of active peace initiatives through both his own personal commitment and through his family’s foundation. He went on to add that “the ideas and initiatives being generated, and the quality of the people involved, ensure that Dawson is on the road to being a leader among institutions working for peace and social harmony in our city and beyond.”
More information about the Dawson College Foundation can be found at www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/dawson-foundation/.
More information about the Dawson Peace Centre can be found at