Bill Bosworth Memorial Award
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Bill Bosworth Memorial Award

Mothercraft is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of the Bill Bosworth Memorial Award – Laurel Rothman

Photograph of Laurel RothmanFor over 35 years, Laurel Rothman has been a tireless advocate on social justice issues, most notably as a voice for the enhancement of affordable child care supports available to families and to deepening our understanding of the critical role these supports play in the healthy development of children and to create economic opportunities for parents. Her commitment to continue to push for a national dialogue and action to address child poverty in this country has been, in her words, "like pushing a stone up a mountain". Nonetheless, she perseveres and for that we are all grateful.

Laurel embodies so many of the qualities we all admired in Bill Bosworth: an innovator, an activist, a leader and mentor in the not-for-profit sector, a big-picture thinker whose commitment to create the systems and structures needed to strengthen communities is truly inspirational. Like Bill, Laurel is an inclusive visionary and a highly skilled advocate for change.

Laurel Rothman is currently the National Coordinator of Campaign 2000 and the Director of Social Reform at Family Service Toronto. At a community celebration hosted by Mothercraft on June 17th, Joan Bosworth, Bill's wife, had this to say, "Bill always sought ways to build a better world for all. He was inclusive and tolerant of all voices. He took huge risks and encouraged others to take a chance and do something big, to do something unheard of. Bill was willing to stand alone, stick his head out, and bring others along - sometimes kicking and screaming - but eventually understanding the importance of these progressive actions. Laurel Rothman embodies all of these qualities."

Laurel's nominator - colleague and fellow child care advocate, Martha Friendly - highlighted Laurel's lifelong commitment to, and passion for, finding the best possible solutions for children and families. With Laurel's leadership, Campaign 2000 put child poverty on Canada's political agenda and has managed to keep it there. Laurel has been Campaign 2000s driving force, using research, policy analysis, knowledge sharing and persistence to press policy makers to address poverty and inequality.

Some of the other highlights from Laurel's nomination include:

  • A rich career in direct service, social planning, community development, policy development and advocacy;
  • Pioneering new approaches and negotiating support for non-profit childcare services through the City of Toronto's planning and land-use process;
  • Setting up unique multi-service childcare models to provide options for children and families;
  • Serving as President of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, a provincial organization that advocates for universally accessible and affordable child care; and
  • Serving as President of the Board of Directors at Skills For Change, a city-wide not-for-profit organization offering settlement supports and services to immigrants.

For Mothercraft's media release about the June 17th event, click here.

To view an article about Laurel in The Toronto Star, click here.