In 1998 activists and academics alike lost historian, peace and union activist, and professor, Barbara Roberts, who died of cancer. Barbara was a transplanted American with strong roots in Canada. Barbara attended Simon Fraser University for her BA and MA, followed by a doctorate at the University of Ottawa, where she examined the treatment of immigrants in Canada (published as Whence They Came: Deportation from Canada, 1900-1935).
In addition to teaching at a number of universities she was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and a peace activist. In 1985 Barbara helped set up the Peace Tent at the UN's Decade of Women's Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, and she also organized a Peace Caravan to tour the Atlantic Seaboard. Her involvement in feminist, faculty union and peace movement causes informed her scholarship. In 1995 she co-authored a handbook, Strategies for the year 200: A Woman's Handbook, which appeared in time for the fourth world conference on women in Beijing, China. Her last book, a study of social reformer, socialist, feminist and pacifist Gertrude Richardson, reflected Barbara's commitment to both activism and scholarship (A Reconstructed World: Gertrude Richardson, A Biography). When she died she was working on a comparative study of women in the Australian and Canadian peace movements.
In her community service she also supported and worked with organizations such as the Canadian Women's Studies Association, the Social Sciences and Humanities Federation, the Faculty Union at Athabasca University, and CRIAW. Thus, the CCWH offered to fundraise for a CRIAW research grant in her name.
The Barbara Roberts Prize
The Barbara Roberts Prize will be for $2,500 and will be allocated to promote the study of feminist perspectives on peace, social justice and human rights, workplace and unions, and women's studies education. The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) awards the grant but a committee of volunteers will choose the recipient.
To donate to the prize, please make a cheque out to CRIAW, and mail to :
The Barbara Roberts Memorial Fund, c/o CRIAW, 151, rue Slater Street, Suite/bureau 408
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H3
Donations receive a tax receipt. Please note that cheques must specify “Barbara Roberts Memorial Fund” on the front.