2004• Friendship Award

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Humanitarian Leila Joy McKenzie is genuinely altruistic in her efforts, and passionate about reaching out to those most vulnerable in society.

A dedicated volunteer and community worker, Ms. McKenzie’s efforts began on arrival in Toronto in 1964. Four decades later she continues to be active in various charitable organizations, boards and committees, including the Canadian Foundation for HIV/AIDS Research, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Prime Mentors of Canada, and Women’s College Hospital. Her volunteer service has been paralleled by an outstanding business career, which included The Presidency of Park-Med Laboratories, and Leisure World Nursing Homes, Ltd.

Her board memberships on behalf of women and youth, in the areas of health and education include the Senior Advisory Board, Hincks Institute of Child Psychiatry and Hincks Foundation; Trustee, Clark Institute of Psychiatry Foundation Board, University of Toronto; Board of Directory, Canadian Opera Women’s Committee (scholarships for young artists); Canadian Alliance for New Music – Young Musician’s Award; Board of Directors, National Ballet School and the promotion of Ballet Senegal and the Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society, Soweto South Africa.  Trustee of Big Sisters of Toronto, she has held the position of Vice President of Women for PACE and is a member of the Have A Heart Advisory Council (supporting AIDS Research and Awareness Programs in Canadian schools).

She has sponsored the JEMS Med-Ed project in Jamaica – promoting health and education among early school leavers; local youth basketball tournaments; the Jane & Finch Youth Community programs and the South African book series “Let Them Speak”. She is a committed patron of S.A.W.W., contributing to a 5 year pledge to secure women’s residences at the University of the Western Cape. She donated the first computer to South Penninsula High school in 1994

Ms. McKenzie was appointed President of the Gore-Almadies Memorial Project, C.I.N.A.S., Canada – a United Nations, UNESCO Programme relating to the buiding of a monument to the slave trade, in The Republic of Senegal.

She has received several awards in public speaking and is the recipient of the Faculty of Social Work Alumni Special Award, University of Toronto, and the prestigious Arbor Award, for exemplary Service. Ms. McKenzie is a D.S.W. Candidate, Adelphi University, New York, USA; and holds a post graduate diploma in Advance Research, University of Toronto; a Masters Degree in Social Work, University of Toronto, and a B.A. (Honours) Sociology & Political Science, University of Toronto.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude.