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Viola Desmond Awards & Bursary Program

Ryerson student Susanne Nyaga at the 2018 Viola Desmond Awards

The annual Viola Desmond Awards and Bursary Program celebrates the outstanding achievements of Black women who in their roles as students, staff, faculty and alumna, demonstrate that they are positive role models and advocates of the Black/African-Canadian community.

Learn more about Viola Desmond.

Submit your nominations by January 31

If you know a Black woman (connected to the university or from a local high school) who has been a positive role model and/or advocate of the Black/African-Canadian community, we invite you to submit a nomination by January 31.

Review the full awards criteria and nomination process.

Five award recipients chosen each year

Awards are given each year to a Ryerson student, faculty, staff, alumna and a local high school student (who is in their final academic year with plans to attend post-secondary education after graduation). Both the Ryerson student and high school recipient are also awarded $500.


Nominees must self-identify as a woman and as Black/African-Canadian or have Black/African-Canadian ancestry. She must be an active leader in her community, with examples to showcase the positive difference she has made in areas such as equity, diversity, inclusion, human rights and social justice. All nominees must agree to be nominated.


If you have any questions, please email or call 416-979-5379.