(L-R): Mary and John YaremkoThe Faculty of Law gratefully acknowledges the generosity and vision of the Hon. John Yaremko and his late wife Mary, who donated $600,000 to establish the John and Mary A. Yaremko Program in Multiculturalism and Human Rights at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. The establishment of the Yaremko Program continues the family's long tradition of philanthropy to the law school, including the creation of the John Yaremko Opportunity Fund, the John Yaremko Award in Human Rights and the John Yaremko Leadership Award.

A 2003 Arbor Award recipient, the Hon. Yaremko studied law at University College in the late 1930s under legal scholars Bora Laskin, W.P.M. Kennedy and Jacob Finkelman. Following his graduation from the University, he embarked on a brilliant career in the public service. As a Member of Provincial Parliament from 1958-1974, he was appointed the first Secretary and Minister of Citizenship of Ontario in 1961. During his career in government, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt an official multicultural policy that would preserve and enhance equality and defend Canadians of diverse heritage from discrimination. It was a fitting legacy for the first Ontario parliamentarian of Ukrainian descent.

The Yaremko Program sponsors a wide range of activities at the Faculty of Law each year relating to the study of human rights and multiculturalism, including conferences, student experiences, and visiting professorships. Since its inception the Yaremko Program has sponsored three major conferences: Achieving Human Rights in a Multicultural Society: Institutional Competence and the Law, which addressed the issue of remedies for human rights abuses against immigrant groups; Equality and the Family, which explored the effects of twenty years of Charter jurisprudence on the social conception of "the family"; and Bridges and Barricades: A Roadmap to Domestic Human Rights, a student-organized forum that addressed a number of pressing domestic human rights issues.

In addition to these public events, the Yaremko Program has supported law students participating in summer fellowships focusing on domestic human rights, and has provided funding for visiting professors offering specialized courses in human rights and multiculturalism. Over the past two years, the Faculty has welcomed Professor Judith Resnick of the Yale Law School, who taught an intensive course Gender, Locally, Globally: The Role of Law in Responding to Forms of Inequality. The Yaremko Program also sponsored a comparative course entitled "The Supreme Court and Constitutional Rights," taught by the Hon. Frank Iacobucci, the Hon. Dieter Grimm, and the Hon. Mr. Justice Aharon Barak, which examined the development and interpretation of human rights law in Canada, Germany and Israel.