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University of Ottawa  law professor Nicole LaViolette passed away May 22, according to the Faculty of Common Law. LaViolette was known for her work for the LGBTQ+ community, refugees in particular.

This year the Canadian Bar Association recognized LaViolette with the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference (SOGIC) Hero Award for her work fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ refugees and rights of LGBTQ+ communities. “When I received the prize, I was particularly pleased… because my first heroes were the refugee lawyers who were pushing for refugee protection for sexual minorities,” she told the Fulcrum in March.

Laviolette, herself a U of O graduate, taught international, refugee, and family law, and human rights, in both English and French.

She helped design a training program for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to improve their work to help LGBTQ+ refugee claimants. The Lambda Foundation also recently renamed its U of O award the Nicole LaViolette Friends of Lambda Prize for her human rights work with LGBTQ+. The award recognizes excellence in LGBTQ+-related research. LaViolette received the award as a student in 1999.

Donations to the Nicole LaViolette  Friends of Lambda Prize can be made here.

—with files from Diyyinah Jamora