Jul 17, 2024

Dr. Nora Angeles is among this year’s recipients of the prestigious Civic Merit Award for her outstanding community contributions and professional achievements.

Community leader and Canadian Filipina professor Dr. Leonora (Nora) Angeles was recently honoured with a Civic Merit Award, one of Vancouver’s highest honours.

 Every year, the city recognizes individuals for their outstanding achievement in a particular field of endeavour in sports, science, arts, or culture within the city and the province, or in recognition of a specific service.

For two decades, Angeles has served as a professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) and Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Program.

She is acknowledged for her individual and collaborative efforts around the world in research, education, and capacity-building in community and international development, participatory governance and planning with an emphasis on gender analysis.

"While awards like this are given to individuals, there are many others who equally deserve recognition for their achievements,” Angeles said. “In my case, these 'others' include my family, friends and colleagues, my institutional affiliations, particularly UBC, community partners, and organizational allies.”

Angeles continued, “I consider receiving an award to be simultaneously a great honor, a cherished inspiration, and a great burden because the award often reminds me of the yet unfinished tasks we need to do in our communities and societies. This award's focus on civics in particular, underscores what every Vancouver resident can do to contribute to ensure that everyone is able to exercise our rights, responsibilities, and duties as citizens to make our living in our beloved city even more inclusive, equitable, enriching and meaningful."

As a university professor, she helped expand students’ understanding of traditional planning paradigms to include social and cultural policy within the framework of transnationalism, race and gender. She has also inspired a generation of youth to consider planning and development within the context of diversity and inclusion.

Through her active community involvement, Angeles has been instrumental in advancing Philippine Studies along with increasing visibility and inspiring the voices of the Filipino community in Canada; especially marginalized Filipino youth and young Filipino-Canadian activists, academic scholars, policy makers and community organizers.

She is regarded as a change-maker and leader who approaches issues with empathy, persistence and enthusiasm.

Currently, Angeles is working with some UBC undergraduate students to host a career orientation and mentoring event in early 2019, with the goal of establishing a long-term program for career development and mentoring Canadian Filipino youth.

She joins Eleanor Guererro-Campbell, Board Advisor to the Maple Bamboo Network Society (the non-profit publisher of Canadian Filipino Net), as a recipient of the city’s highly esteemed civic award.

Vancouver began awarding the Civic Merit Award in 1942. Recipients are recognized during a ceremony at Council, where the Mayor reads a resolution on the recipient's achievements and presents the Civic Merit Medallion and a certificate of the Resolution. City Council must vote unanimously to honour someone with the Civic Merit Award.

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Iona Santos-Fresnoza has worked in government, IT, academe, and the non-profit sector. She specializes in program and community development, communication strategy, and advocacy. She believes in diversity and inclusion. A relentless learner, Santos-Fresnoza is also a fair-trade coffee advocate..

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