Moments after being surprised with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Human Rights, Hafizu Rahman exhibited his trademark humble attitude.
“I don’t think anything of it. It’s a natural thing to do,” says Dr. Rahman when asked to explain his devotion to human rights within the Queen’s and Kingston communities. “I don’t consider myself an activist, but more like a catalyst. If somebody wants to do something, I want to help.”
Dr. Rahman came to Queen’s for graduate studies in 1968. He earned his master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering at Queen’s.
After graduation, he continued to contribute to the university. He served several terms on the Queen’s University International Centre council and played an instrumental role in the development of the Human Rights Office in the early 1990s.
In addition to his work at Queen’s, Dr. Rahman has been an active member of the Kingston community. He served for more than 20 years as the president of the Islamic Society of Kingston. He was a founding member of community organizations such as the Kingston Multicultural Centre and the Kingston and District Immigrant Services.
The surprise presentation of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award capped off the Tri-Award Ceremony held Feb. 27 in the atrium of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. In honour of Queen’s 175th anniversary, the Equity Office and the Human Rights Office bestowed their awards on alumni and past members of the university community.
The 2016 winners include: