Winners of Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship announced

On Tuesday, April 28, undergraduate political science students competed for the inaugural Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship.

Student teams submitted posters highlighting their plan of action for addressing a significant social/political problem.

Eleven teams competed this year – with advocacy campaigns that included addressing sexual violence on campus; creating a more environmentally sustainable Hamilton; raising awareness of the potential consequences of Bill C-51; and empowering immigrant youth.

Ultimately, after some difficult judging, three advocacy platforms stood out:

The first place prize went to the team of Yasmen AbdelKhalek and Karishma Sooknarine.

AbdelKhalek and Sooknarine are involved in a project that is working towards “increasing the amount of affordable housing in Hamilton.” They have already teamed up with a local MPP to write a Private Members’ Bill that will, they note, “exempt builders of affordable housing from paying education development charges.”

The second place prize went to James Ankers, whose “Nickle and Dimed” campaign targets rising tuition fees with a grass roots protest strategy.

Finally, Kesia Correia’s project — which involves lobbying OHIP so that it will cover “cervical cancer screenings to women … as of age eighteen (as opposed to 21)” — was awarded the third place prize.

Congratulations to all the teams for striving to make a real-world political difference.

Clarke 1st prize

First place winners Yasmen AbdelKhalek and Karishma Sooknarine with Ryan Clarke, LL.B.