Leading Chiswick Refugee Campaigner Receives Award

Lois Graessle gets honorary degree from Buckinghamshire New University.


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Renowned author and campaigner, Lois Graessle, of Strand on the Green, was conferred with the honorary master’s degree last Thursday, in recognition of 30 years work supporting refugees.

Lois has worked as an organisational consultant, conference designer and facilitator for the heads and boards of many organisations, including the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), Refugee Action, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other charities including mental health, homelessness , youth and education groups. She has also worked closely with Vietnamese community groups supporting an oral history project.

She said: “I feel privileged to be invited into this unusual University community and I look forward to making a contribution to it. I enjoyed my graduation day enormously and it was a huge honour to receive the degree.”

The trained journalist, originally from the southern United States,was part of the 1965 march from Selma ,Alabama to Montgomery, with Martin Luther King. She has also been a significant figure in women’s rights, working as editor and printer of Shrew, the first women’s movement newsletter in the 1960s, and as co-chair of the first national women’s conference in Oxford in 1971.

Prof Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor of Bucks New University, (seen on right ) said: “It is with great pleasure that we bestow this honorary master’s award on Lois Graessle. Our awardees are chosen in recognition of their outstanding achievements in their fields and because they are an inspiration to our graduating students. ”

September 5, 2011