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Social Justice Trailblazers to Address 2019 Graduates in Vancouver and Chicago

University News | 08.26.19

Adler University is honored to announce this year’s commencement keynote speakers, two inspiring social justice advocates who will address the 2019 master’s and doctoral graduates at ceremonies in Vancouver and Chicago.

The Chicago and Online campuses commencement ceremony on October 20, will feature Sol Flores, Deputy Governor of Illinois and Founding Executive Director of La Casa Norte. Donald MacPherson, Executive Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition (CDPC) and one of Canada’s leading figures in drug policy, will address graduates at the Vancouver Campus convocation on October 27.

During her tenure as director, Flores transformed La Casa Norte, an organization that provides housing and services to homeless families, single parents, victims of domestic violence, and abandoned youth, from a two-person nonprofit into an essential community resource.

Most recently, Flores raised $20 million for Pierce House, the new La Casa Norte headquarters that also serves as a drop-in center for teens, apartment building, food pantry, cooking school, and healthcare clinic. In 2012, Flores was recognized by the Obama White House as a national Champion of Change for her work to combat homelessness among children and youth.

MacPherson has spent 22 years as North America’s first Drug Policy Coordinator in Vancouver. He specifically advocates for drug policies rooted in public health, scientific evidence, human rights, and social inclusion.

He is also the author of Vancouver’s Four Pillars of Drug Strategy as well as two books: Raise S—! Social Action Saving Lives and More Harm Than Good: Drug Policy in Canada. MacPherson was the 2013 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in drug policy reform. He is also receiving an honorary doctorate degree from Adler University.

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