Madhu Verma and Dr. Ralph Thomas Awarded Legacy Prize for work on Multiculturalism and Immigration in New Brunswick

by New Brunswick Multicultural Council
June 27, 2022

Ms. Madhu Verma and Dr. Ralph D. Thomas are set to receive the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) Legacy Award at a special ceremony dedicated to their lifetimes of achievement in multiculturalism on Monday, June 27, at Government House in Fredericton. Both public and private sector leaders will gather at the ceremony to celebrate the legacies of courageous leadership and bold action in New Brunswick that both of our recipients embody every day.

“On Canadian Multiculturalism Day, the New Brunswick Multicultural Council is recognizing two outstanding contributions to multiculturalism in New Brunswick.” said Moncef Lakouas, President of NBMC. “Both Madhu Verma and Ralph Thomas have been pioneers in moving the province of New Brunswick forward in the spirit of sustainable and bold multiculturalism.”

Madhu Verma’s long-term commitment to the advancement of multiculturalism in New Brunswick is one-of-a-kind. Madhu Verma’s life in New Brunswick began in 1963, as one of Fredericton’s earliest Indian immigrants. Volunteerism and activism became her career and passion, and since 1964, Madhu has served on the Boards of numerous local, provincial, and national organizations. She has presented impactful discussion papers on immigration and refugee policy, issues facing immigrant women, domestic violence, anti-racism initiatives, employment equity, and more. She is also a founding member of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council and the Asian Heritage Society of New Brunswick, and other cultural organizations.

Madhu was a Canadian delegate at the United Nations World Conference against Racism in 2001 and is a recipient of honors including the Governor General medal, the Queen Gold Jubilee and Queen Diamond Jubilee medals, the National Citation for Citizenship Award, the New Brunswick Human Rights Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, among others.

Dr. Ralph D. Thomas was born and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick. Ralph is a founding member of the New Brunswick Black History Society and has served on the Boards of various non-profit organizations, including the Kings Landing Historical Settlement.

Dr. Thomas has been recognized throughout his career as a courageous leader, receiving honors including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee medal, the YMCA Peace Medal, and the Toastmasters Communications and Leadership Award.

From 1997-2020, Ralph served as the president of PRUDE Inc. (Pride of Race, Unity and Dignity, through Education), an advocacy and service group for Black, ethnic and newcomer communities in the Saint John region. In 2012, Dr. Thomas was recognized with the New Brunswick Human Rights Award, and more recently, in 2021, was the recipient of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce’s Inspirational Leader Award, and most notably, the Order of New Brunswick.

At the awards ceremony, both Legacy Award recipients will reflect on what it means to leave a legacy, what it means to move New Brunswick forward in the spirit of multiculturalism and will look back on their lives of service that began decades ago.

More than 70 guests and community leaders are expected to attend the event, being held on Canadian Multiculturalism Day, to look forward to a bold New Brunswick, where full, and meaningful socio-economic inclusion of newcomers is a reality for all.