Medicine Hat Advocate & Student Advocates Receive 2013 Public Interest Award
Evelyn Schuler recognized for years of advocating for health and environment and Jasper Place High School’s Global Café recognized for engaging students to take action
Public Interest Alberta has selected Evelyn Schuler from Medicine Hat to receive this year’s Public Interest Award for Southern Alberta and the Global Café at Jasper Place High School for Northern Alberta.
The award was presented in Calgary at 7:00 PM on April 10th at Parkdale United Church (2919 - 8 Avenue NW, Calgary), as part of Fighting for Our Future: People Power vs. Corporate Control, the keynote of Public Interest Alberta’s conference.
Thanks to Alberta Views Magazine sponsorship of this year’s award, Evelyn received $750 to put towards an organization of her choice and $750 went towards expenses for the Global Café.
Each year the award is given to two individuals and/or organizations, one from Northern Alberta, and one from Southern Alberta, who are making an exemplary contribution in one or more of the following ways:
- effectively drawing public attention to the importance of preserving and enhancing an element of public services, public institutions, public spaces, the public good or the public interest.
- mobilizing support in one or more of the above areas.
- promoting effective cooperation among individuals and organizations in one or more of the above areas.
- working to strengthen Alberta’s public sphere and public interest in any other effective manner.
Evelyn Schuler has spent a lifetime caring for others. In addition to her achievements as a nurse and health-related advocate, she was nominated for her work with Friends of Medicare. In 2007, she became the Palliser region’s representative with Friends of Medicare’s provincial board and has served two terms. She has used her nursing background to provide perspective on seniors care in particular, and has been a part of the Medicine Hat General Hospital Alumnae for the past 60 years. She has also worked tirelessly for the health of the South Saskatchewan River. In the late 1960s, the frothiness of the river prompted her to start a consumer movement in Medicine Hat for phosphate-free soap. She rallied against the Old Man Dam in the 1980s, and later joined the Prairie River Stewards. She is a member of Greenpeace Alberta, Grasslands Naturalists, the Peace River Environmental Society, Partners of the South Saskatchewan River Basin and an executive member of the Medicine Hat NDP.
The Global Cafe started out in 2011 as an empty room full of potential. A few curious students joined the cause of building an authentic space for student voice in Jasper Place High School. Today, the Global Cafe occupies a unique niche within the school, a niche well-loved by teachers and students, and at the same time fosters relations between the school and surrounding community, and Edmonton at large. It has become a space for engagement, active participation and creation. Students spearhead events and initiatives, from starting a radio station (CKJP), to running a coffee shop, building a website, growing their own tea and composting. This spring, led by Global Cafe youth, students started a campaign called #EdStake in response to provincial government cuts to public education. The Global Cafe has received acclaim and recognition from the likes of educators and mentors in Calgary and Grande Prairie, in the Globe and Mail, and from as far away as Helsinki, Finland, and was recently nominated for a Human Rights Award from the John Humphrey Centre.
Past Award Recipients
Organizational Recipient: Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative
Individual Recipient: Enneke J. Lorberg
See the media release for details
John and Carol Wodak
See the media advisory for details
Dorothy McKenna & Womanspace Resource Centre
Whitemud Citizens for Public Health
Noel & Lynda Somerville
Families Who Care
Neil Reimer, ACA
Vibrant Communities Calgary
Brian Staples, SALT
Jackie Flanagan, Alberta Views Magazine
Lynda & Ron Jonson, Seniors I Care