Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Mayo Moran

For her tireless and effective work to advance equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI), human rights and justice both globally and locally, Professor Mayo Moran (SJD 1999) has been awarded the 2024 Ludwik & Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize (Influential Leader). In 2006, Moran was the first woman to serve as Dean of the Faculty of Law and James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair, a position she held until 2014.

The Ludwik & Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize, established in 1995, is part of the University of Toronto’s Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff, librarians, faculty members, and students. The Influential Leader Award is presented to someone who has consistently made positive and lasting contributions in the areas of scholarship, service to others, and/or action against discrimination. The prize comes with a $1,500 award.

Moran is currently serving as Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College, U of T, where her work within the institution has directly impacted and advanced human rights and EDI at the University. In this role, she has also provided leadership on many complex issues. She served as Co-Chair of the Faculty of Law’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Committee, whose goal was to implement Call to Action 28, which involved ensuring that law students receive a robust education in Indigenous issues, and to provide broader recommendations and guidance aimed at ensuring that the law school was a positive environment for pursuing and addressing Indigenous issues.

Moran also chaired the University of Toronto’s Expert Panel on Sexual Violence Policies and Procedures. The panel’s report formed the basis for the creation of U of T’s new sexual violence policy and the establishment of the Centre for Sexual Violence.

She gave her time generously to Canada, as well as to U of T. Warren Winkler, former Chief Justice of Ontario, noted, “Professor Moran’s greatest contributions to Canadians and to Canada lie in her work on the Indian Residential Schools Settlement. … I saw the sensitive and measured manner in which she undertook the challenging task confronting her, as well as her achievements in carrying out her responsibilities.”

In collaboration with former U of T Vice-President & Provost Cheryl Regehr, Moran intervened in the development of Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, and, as a representative of the higher education sector, helped shape the legislation. This bill is now law.

Provincially, Moran’s significant legal contributions include conducting the Second Legislative Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), a review whose recommendations have given rise to many watershed programs and initiatives across Ontario. She also chaired a panel that advised the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General on potential “Anti-SLAPP” legislation. The legislation, the Protection of Public Participation Act, passed in 2015, is designed to deter strategic lawsuits used to silence public critics through expensive legal battles.

At an international level, Moran has also provided her expertise on the role of law redressing historic injustice to the question of the restitution of cultural objects, including those seized during the Holocaust. This includes her role as co-organizer of “The Restitution Dialogues” conference series, a collaboration among Tel Aviv University, the University of Toronto, and the U.K.-based Institute of Art and Law.  

“Mayo's contributions in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, human rights and justice are truly remarkable. Her commitment and leadership have had deep and lasting impact in the University and beyond – institutions, legislation, and pressing matters of national and international justice,” said University Professor and Dean Jutta Brunnée, James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair. "She is richly deserving of the Ludwik and Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize.”

Read the Trinity College announcement

Pinnacle Awards Program — Awards of Excellence

The University of Toronto recognizes exceptional contributions made by its administrative staff, faculty members, and librarians through the Pinnacle Awards Program. These awards aim to highlight the significant role of these individuals in supporting the University’s mission to foster an academic community where every member’s learning and scholarship can flourish across the tri-campus.

The Pinnacle Awards Program comprises three distinct awards: the Chancellor’s Leadership Award, the President’s Excellence Award, and the Ludwik & Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize. The awards are aligned with the University’s broader Awards of Excellence Program through a partnership with the Division of University Advancement.