The YWCA Metro Vancouver has announced two Squamish nominees in its Women of Distinction Awards.
The two nominees are Adriana Suarez-Gonzalez and Angela Kermer. Suarez-Gonzalez is nominated in the Research, the Sciences and Technology category, whereas Kermer is nominated in the Reconciliation in Action category.
“The YWCA Women of Distinction Awards honour individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community,” reads a news release about the awards.
Suarez-Gonzalez is a senior science and technology advisor with 10x Genomics who works in single-cell and spatial technologies.
Suarez-Gonzalez co-edited the first book on genomics applications in the bioeconomy, according to the release.
"To expand the reach of new genomics technologies, Adriana championed a new global Funding Agency Program, helping more Vancouver-based researchers access cutting-edge technologies on projects in oncology, gene therapies and infectious diseases," reads the release.
She led the creation of Vancouver’s Hackseq, the first genomics hackathon in Canada.
"She recruited a diverse steering committee and partnered with 15 organizations; Hackseq has become a renowned event and every spring programmers and leaders from around the world come to Vancouver to create innovative solutions for genomics."
Kermer is a corporal with the RCMP who works on two youth anti-human trafficking advisory committees and is leading a restorative justice project for survivors of crime.
"As an Indigenous Corporal in the RCMP, Angela has built the trust of Indigenous communities that have a negative history with RCMP by providing connection to her cultural teachings and practices," reads the release about her nomination.
Kermer has focused on gang intervention.
"Connecting with people in Indigenous gangs through her awareness of historical traumas and deep compassion for people; her commitment to supporting at-risk Indigenous youth has saved lives."
Kermer also mentors two youth anti-human trafficking advisory committees, developing programs to create cultural safety, healing and recovery for Indigenous survivors.
Moreover, Kermer leads Canada’s first Restorative Justice Project for survivors of egregious crimes with the RCMP.
"Providing community-rooted, relationship-focused justice for youth in foster care and survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking."
On top of the nomination in these two categories, both Suarez-Gonzalez and Kermer are eligible to receive the Connecting the Community Award.
Until April 12, the public can cast their votes online, and the nominee with the most votes will receive the Connecting the Community Award. Scotiabank will donate $10,000 to the YWCA program area of the winner’s choice.
Award recipients will be announced at an awards gala in Vancouver on May 9. Tickets for the gala will go on sale soon and can be purchased at YWCAVan.org/WOD.
“Since 1984, YWCA Metro Vancouver has paid tribute to more than 352 award recipients and 2,100 nominees,” reads the release.