Stephen Lewis Accepts CAW Nelson Mandela Human Rights Awards

Toronto, Ontario

December 8, 2006

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Stephen Lewis Accepts CAW Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award

As human rights and social justice activist Stephen Lewis arrived to receive the CAW Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award at the CAW Council meeting December 8th, the delegates voted to provide additional funds to help in his foundation's fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

CAW national president Buzz Hargrove welcomed Lewis to the Council.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"As he approaches the podium to accept the award and say a few words, I also want to say to Stephen, through you, that we recognize that your work is just beginning and as a result of that we want you to leave here today with an additional $100,000 from our union to help you with your foundation and your work in Africa."

In accepting the Award Lewis said the CAW has played a key role throughout his career and its solidarity was an essential part of his success.

Stephen Lewis
Human Rights Activist

"When you take stands on principle, and you take stands which are etched in the objective of social justice, you can shift the pendulum. You can civilize the world. I wanted all of you to know today, that when I have taken stands in life, I have taken it with the force and support of the Canadian Auto Workers. We have always been comrades in arms."
In closing Lewis said the CAW is setting an example for the world with its Social Justice Fund.

Stephen Lewis
Human Rights Activist

"The CAW in Mozambique, for heaven sakes, that's one of our model campaigns in the world. And similarly you've done such amazing work with the provision of food and the provision of water in Ethiopia, you are starting to support and it is making an appreciable difference in the battle against HIV and AIDS in Malawi. Unions just don't do this around the world. It is most extraordinary, the solidarity with people who are struggling for survival and to have a union demonstrate such vision and such principle, I truly hope you are all collectively proud of that Social Justice Fund because quite frankly it is quite amazing."
Lewis was also made an honorary member of the CAW. His reaction was pure Stephen Lewis.

Stephen Lewis
Human Rights Activist

"Stephen Lewis, honorary member of the Canadian Auto Workers, my God my very soul is palpitating, my persona is beginning to levitate, I just love it. You will never know how much I love it."
"I will hold this card and this membership in greater esteem and affection and regard and love than anything else in my life except my wife and family, I want you to know that."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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