2016 Fredericton Encaenia - Ceremony C

Armstrong, Sally

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)


to be Doctor of Letters

Sally Armstrong wears many hats - that of journalist, teacher, editor, author, documentary filmmaker and human rights activist. She completed a Bachelor of Education at McGill and later a Master's of Science at the University of Toronto that provided a feminist critique of adolescent women's access to health services in Afghanistan and Canada. As an editor her name is associated with a number of prominent Canadian magazine publications: in particular, Macleans, Homemakers, and Chatelaine. In addition she was a founding editor of Canadian Living. As the author of a half dozen books, she is known for her work on women in Afghanistan publishing Power of the Veiled Threat: The Hidden Women in Afghanistan in 2002 and Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan's Women (2008). Many will also recognize her as the author of The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor, a work of fiction based on the life of her New Brunswick great-great-great grandmother. Her most recent book, Uprising: A New Age is Dawning for Every Mother's Daughter appeared in 2014. Needless to say she has given numerous lectures and presentations over her career.

In film she has made eight documentaries including the award-winning "They Fell from the Sky" and "The Daughters of Afghanistan." And in 2011 and 2013 she contributed programs to CBC radio's Ideas series.

Many national and international organizations have sought her out to become a member or a director. Sally Armstrong has been a member of the Board of Governors for the Canadian Journalism Foundation, a Director of a Centre for Research in Women's Health, Director of the Canadian Women's Foundation, a member of the International Women's Commission and of the International Women's Forum. She also was one of the founders of WILLOW, a resource for breast cancer support. In recognition of her contributions she has received many awards. To name a few: the President's Award from the Canadian Association for Community Living, the Lifetime Achievement award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation, the Red Cross NB Humanitarian Award, the Order of Canada and the United Nations Women's Fund Award, UNIFEM.

The recurring pattern of her life has blended humanitarianism with feminism and journalism in a very challenging world. As one of her nominators wrote: "Sally has witnessed some of the worst human rights violations in the world but she has never lost her belief in the power of individuals who are willing to work together to create change ... I never cease to be awed by her tenacity, bravery, humanity and prodigious talent." Today the University of New Brunswick is proud to award her a well-deserved Honorary Doctorate.

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