Rose Quartz Warrior Award

photo of rose quartz Inukshuk
an Inukshuk

The Rose Quartz Warrior Award is a creation of the Marsha Forest Centre – honouring outstanding leadership and contribution in the field of inclusion and education.

Marsha was a ‘warrior’ for peace and for Inclusion. She loved rose quartz and often referred to herself as a Rose Quartz Warrior. When she passed after a 12 year struggle with cancer (living every minute to the limit), Jack created a real Rose Quartz Warrior – also 5 foot 2 inches tall. (see photo).

This Inukshuk (an Inuit direction marker) is called the “Rose Quartz Warrior”. The Rose Quartz Warrior Award continues to honour Marsha’s memory and contribution, while acknowledging outstanding leadership for inclusion anywhere and everywhere. 

Recipients of the Rose Quartz Award

Mumbia, India. Presented Jan 27, 2003

photo of Mark Vaughan with Mithu Alur
Mark Vaughan (CSIE- UK) presents Dr. Mithu Alur
with the first Rose Quartz Warrior Award

Dr. Alur is the Founder Chairperson of a disability movement in India, which began in 1972. Since then she has been extensively involved in social change, legislation and policy for disabled people. Her first model in the country was a special educational model, her second model has been inclusive education for children with disability.

Presented in Hamilton, August, 2006

Jim Hansen.Each Belongs
The late Jim Hansen:  retired Superintendent and leader…

The Rose Quartz Warrior Award was presented to the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board in recognition of leadership and sustained contribution to the lives of students with disabilities in Ontario and the world. HWCDSB was the first school system in the world to move to Inclusive Education. All students are welcomed in their regular neighbourhood classrooms.

Presented at the Toronto Summer Institute, July 2009

photo of John Mcknight
John McKnight

John McKnight is the co-founder of ABCD – Asset-Based Community Development – and has been advocating for the full inclusion of people for decades. His leadership and resilience in supporting inclusion is a continuing inspiration.

GARY BUNCH – Life Long Service Award

Gary Bunch
Gary Bunch
Gary has been a life long advocate for inclusion – in a multitude of teaching, administrative and leadership positions.  His writing has been translated into multiple languages, so his ‘teacher-friendly’ approach to inclusion is the foundation of movements in Russia, the Arab States, Malta, Germany, and more.  Gary created ‘Inclusive Education events’ in conjunction with the Toronto Summer Institutes, and relentlessly advocated for inclusion in schools – including creating PlayFair Teams – a remarkable inclusive student activity that remains years ahead of school adoption.  It works!  Gary is also the founding and current  Chair of the Board of the Marsha Forest Centre.
Gerv Leyden & Gary Bunch
Presented at the to Gerv Leyden & Gary Bunch at the Toronto Summer Institute, July 11, 2013

Dr. Gervais Leyden – Life Long Service Award

Gerv Leyden
Gerv Leyden
A lifelong advocate for Inclusion, Gerv led the struggle to create the climate for inclusion in England.  A major triumph was to alter the policy of the British Psychological Association in favour of inclusion – thus altering the policy framework for the country.  He also pioneered many inclusion events and for many years – served on the board of the Marsha Forest Centre.

Judith Snow Award

The Judith Snow Award was established to honour the life work of Judith and to nurture courageous creativity by individuals and/or organizations who demonstrated decades of quiet listening and relentless leadership to create opportunities for meaningful lives for all. The first two recipients were:

• Individual Funding Coalition of Ontario (IFCO)
Michelle Friesen & the IFCO Board

Michelle Friesen
Michelle Friesen

• Windsor-Essex Brokerage for Personal Supports
Marlyn Shervill and the WEBPS Board

Marlyn Shervill

Marlyn Shervill
Presented to these two remarkable organizations that have been ‘delivering the goods’ quietly, faithfully and relentlessness for decades.  Many heros are ‘unsung’.  They do their work with humility and often invisibly because they believe that the energy, attention and wisdom is in families.  But families could not manage without the kinds of remarkable support and innovation that these two organizations have delivered in Ontario for decades.
Representatives of the Boards and staff received the awards at the Toronto Summer Institute in July, 2016.