The David Petrasek Legacy Fund
David Petrasek believed passionately in a world of universal human rights protection. And towards that essential, fundamental vision and goal, he was deeply committed to creating innovative opportunities for learning, opening up space for thoughtful debate, building partnerships and connections, crafting concrete strategies and advancing practical solutions.
About the Legacy Fund
The David Petrasek Legacy Fund will include three components, an online forum in David’s name and memory, to be held in June 2020; the David Petrasek Human Rights Lecture Series; and the David Petrasek Human Rights Prize and Mentorship.
Human Rights in COVID Times: An Online Human Rights Forum to Honour David Petrasek
On June 24, 2020, an online forum, organized in David’s name and memory, explored the imperatives and opportunities for transformative changes to human rights that arise in the midst, and aftermath, of the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum honoured David’s many contributions to international human rights, justice, and peace, and launched the David Petrasek Legacy Fund. The event was collaboratively co-hosted by a range of organizations and institutions with which David had close affiliations or personal connections, including the University of Ottawa, Amnesty International, Open Global Rights, the Dialogue Advisory Group, the Centre for Global Pluralism, and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.
The Petrasek Human Rights Lectures
A series of occasional lectures in David’s name will be held at the University of Ottawa over the course of 2020-2023. The lecture series will proceed from recognition that while universal human rights are the foundational vision for peace, security and a sustainable world, efforts to deliver that vision concretely and durably have too often been unrealistic and ineffective. The women and men who deliver the Petrasek Lectures will turn human rights upside down and inside out, question orthodoxies, encourage imaginative and innovative solutions, explore what stands in the way of realizing this universal vision, and challenge us all to transform and even revolutionize how we get there.
The David Petrasek Human Rights Prize and Mentorship
Most significantly and substantially, we will establish an annual David Petrasek Human Rights Prize and Mentorship, awarded to an undergraduate student between their second and third year of studies in the University of Ottawa’s Conflict and Human Rights Program who is both a thinker and a doer. The Prize would offer recognition and mentorship, both of which matter a great deal. Formal recognition of a student’s accomplishment and potential can be a door opener. But even more valuable: the advice and support of mentors can be invaluable.
The Prize recipient would have an academic mentor who is a professor at the University of Ottawa who embraces the spirit of the award, as well as a practitioner mentor who can help the student navigate the governmental, multilateral and/or non-governmental space and provide advice on advancing human rights in practice. Both would commit to advising the student at least for the remaining two years of their undergraduate studies.Among other things, mentors could use their knowledge and connections to help the recipient pursue internships and other concrete opportunities to help advance their career.