Charan Gill, social activist and CEO of Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society has been awarded with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Kwantlen Polytechnic University on May 29th, 2013.
Gill was awarded with the honorary degree on account of his social activism and community work. For over 40 years, Gill, author, entrepreneur, and founding president of the PICS Society has initiated, operated and successfully run a variety of programs for immigrant youth, women, seniors and farmworkers.
In 1978, Gill helped co-found the Canadian Farmworkers Union that exists to improve the human rights, health and safety and employment standards of farmworkers. In 1987, he co-founded the British Columbia Organization to Fight Racism, which later grew into Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society. PICS Society was established in 1987 and continues to provide programs and services that directly assist youth, seniors and new immigrants with the goal of promoting harmony and intercultural understanding.
“It’s a humbling experience for me and I feel grateful that Kwanten Polytechnic University has recognized my social activism and community work”, said Gill. “People always ask me when I’ll retire, I tell them social justice never retires.”
Currently, Gill is focused on expanding PICS Society programs to ensure their services cover the various needs of the community. Gill has won countless awards for his work, including the order of BC, the BC Human Rights Award by MOSAIC and the Golden Jubilee Medal.