Ludwik & Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize

Program Overview

Established in 1995, the Ludwik & Estelle Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize is part of the University of Toronto’s Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff, librarians, faculty members, and students.

Recipients of the Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize include a wide variety of individuals who have been recognized for their scholarship, personal service to others, or activities in support of the University of Toronto’s commitment to human rights, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

There are two categories of the Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize:

  • Influential Leader
  • Emerging Leader

The Jus Memorial Human Rights Prize is aligned under the University’s broader Awards of Excellence Program.

2024 Award Recipients

Influential Leader

Mayo Moran

Provost & Vice-Chancellor, Trinity College and Professor, Faculty of Law

Mayo Moran

Professor Mayo Moran’s extraordinary leadership and service are grounded in her scholarly work. Her scholarship covers a range of topics, including redress for historic wrongs, restitution, tort law, hate speech, legal and feminist theory, and reparative justice. A common thread is the capacity of law to prevent and to right life-altering wrongs.

Professor Moran has served as the first female Dean of the Faculty of Law, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College, and Chair / Co-Chair of important University committees, such as the Expert Panel on Sexual Violence, the Faculty of Law’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, and U of T’s Standing Committee on Recognition.

Professor Moran has contributed to provincial legislative initiatives. She chaired the panel that recommended the creation of Ontario’s anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) legislation to deter litigation intended to intimidate and silence critics. She conducted a review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, leading to concrete policy changes that directly affect the lives of Ontarians with disabilities. She was deeply engaged in the development of the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, which required that universities develop sexual violence policies.

Professor Moran served for fourteen years as Chair of the Residential Schools Oversight Committee. This committee was comprised of stakeholders with divergent interests. Under her deft leadership, the committee oversaw the settlement of 38,276 claims by residential school survivors, totalling $3.2 billion, contributing to reconciliation and healing at the national and individual survivor levels.

At the international level, Professor Moran worked with colleagues in the United Kingdom and Israel to co-found the Restitution Dialogues. This ongoing project seeks to illuminate pressing restitution issues, including Nazi-looted artwork and colonial takings. She is also an expert participant in the Working Group on the German Advisory Commission on the return of Holocaust-looted assets.

Emerging Leader

Shezadi Khushal

PhD Candidate, Leadership, Higher & Adult Education, OISE

Shezadi Khushal

Shezadi Khushal has demonstrated a commitment to equity, inclusivity, justice and human rights through her professional work, academic career, and volunteer leadership positions. From working on Sustainable Development Goals as a policy intern for the United Nations to working on poverty alleviation in Non-Governmental Organizations in Indonesia to publishing articles and speaking at conferences on human rights and equity, Khushal has spent the past decade working and advocating for the rights of humanity.

Khushal works as a Human Rights Officer for the York Region District School Board, leading initiatives to raise individual and collective consciousness regarding power, privilege, systems of oppression, intersectionality and human rights. In addition to investigating human rights violations, Khushal leads the school board’s training on human rights, bias and discrimination. She collects and analyzes data on reported cases of discrimination and harassment for the creation of the Board’s Human Rights Annual Report.

Khushal’s academic research focuses on examining the dissonance between policy and practice of School Boards’ human rights policies in combating racism and discrimination in schools, specifically on race, antisemitism, disability, and religion.

Khushal served on the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union’s Race & Ethnicity Caucus, and currently serves on the Leadership, Higher & Adult Education Departmental Students’ Association where she provides academic and social programming for graduate students on matters of identity, race, justice, and belonging. Khushal was instrumental in the development and delivery of two Human Rights Panel Symposium which brought together faculty members and students to discuss the alignment of human rights & equity, the impact of racism on education, and to better understand the roles and responsibilities of leaders and educators in upholding human rights principles in learning and working environments.

 

Foti Vito

JD Candidate, Faculty of Law

Foti Vito

Foti Vito is a graduating law student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. He obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science from Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Recognized as a U of T Global Scholar, Vito seamlessly integrates his passion for global citizenship into his academic pursuits and community service.

In the Faculty of Law, Vito actively champions access to justice. He supported low-income clients’ applications for record suspensions at Downtown Legal Services and facilitated legal education sessions for marginalized youth with the Ontario Justice Education Network. He also serves as an Executive of the First Generation Network and as a Board Director for the Albanian Canadian Lawyers Association.

Vito’s commitment to justice transcends borders. As a dedicated student in the International Human Rights Program (IHRP), Vito supported legal clinic projects that advance transnational corporate accountability. He previously completed an IHRP Fellowship at the United Nations in The Hague, where he assisted a team of prosecutors in preparing a significant investigative dossier concerning international crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.

As a Student Head of Trinity College and Executive of the Faculty of Arts and Science Students’ Union, he received the University of Toronto Student Leadership Award and Chancellor William C. Graham Award for his dedication to supporting students. Vito co-founded the Trinity College Multicultural Society, led governance reforms for commuter students, and spearheaded various academic initiatives such as the Arbor Journal of Undergraduate Research.