For the fifth year, CUPE 1281 will be giving out the Mary-Jo Nadeau Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) award. This award is a monetary award of $500 for an organization fighting to end support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and to pressure Israel to comply with international law. Anyone may nominate an organization for this award.
Selection criteria that will be taken into consideration include the following:
- Local to where CUPE 1281 members work/live
- Raises the voices of Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination
Nominations for the 2024 award will open in the new year.
Previous Mary-Jo Nadeau BDS Award Winners
2021 – Palestinian Youth Movement
Mary-Jo Nadeau Tribute
On Saturday, January 9, 2021, the world lost an inspiring woman named Mary-Jo Nadeau.
Mary-Jo Nadeau (MJ) was an activist, professor, leader, mentor and comrade.
She was also a former CUPE 1281 Staff Representative, who for many years worked tirelessly to defend the rights of workers, organize new workplaces, and educate and mentor everyone around her. She uplifted and inspired CUPE 1281 to grow as a local and we would not be where we are now, if it weren’t for MJ. Even after MJ stopped working at CUPE 1281 due to health concerns, she remained present in our local, and still provided us with guidance and support.
MJ was also well known as a fierce defender of human rights which included Palestine solidarity organizing and the BDS movement. In 2018, her passion was recognized by the CUPE 1281 membership with the creation of an annual award in her name, the Mary-Jo Nadeau Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Award. This is an award dedicated to an organization fighting to end support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, and pressuring Israel to comply with international law.
MJ never shied away from speaking truth to power and holding bad bosses accountable. As unapologetic as she was in standing up to injustice, MJ was equally as committed to building meaningful and lasting relationships with our members. She radiated genuine warmth, humour, and laughter as she supported our confidence and capacity to collectively make our workplaces and communities better places.
CUPE 1281 will miss and love you always MJ.
“What I remember most about Mary-Jo was her warmth, her kindness, her quiet strength and determination. Her presence was truly inspiring. She will be greatly missed.” – Linda Barnett
“We lost a fierce unionist, intellectual and social justice organizer on Saturday, January 9, 2021, Mary-Jo Nadeau. I’m shattered by her passing, as many are, but want to put words to all the images in my mind.