Lise Martin and Dr. Jennifer Kagan Announced as the
2022 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award Recipients

Award acknowledges the commitment of women and gender-diverse

people committed to protecting the right of survivors

Toronto: May 26, 2022 – Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is excited to announce that the 10th Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award honours Lise Martin and Dr. Jennifer Kagan. Through their work and advocacy, Lise and Jennifer demonstrate their commitment to supporting women and gender-diverse people experiencing gender-based violence, intimate partner violence and domestic violence.

“We are honoured to have two very deserving candidates accept the Award this year,” says Deepa Mattoo, the Clinic’s Executive Director. “Lise and Jennifer are exceptional women who exemplify the spirit of our namesake, Barbra Schlifer. This Award celebrates their dedication to ending violence against women through their direct work, advocacy and education efforts.”

Lise Martin is the founding Executive Director of Women’s Shelters Canada, a network providing a unified voice for systemic change to end violence against women. In 2021, Lise led the coordination of a robust national team of anti-violence leaders, representing more than 1,000 person-years in subject-matter knowledge and expertise in the area of gender-based violence. Their collaboration with stakeholders from coast to coast resulted in the development of Canada’s National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence – a plan consisting of 100 policy actions across four pillars that provide the government with a comprehensive road map to advance Canada’s presence on the world stage as leaders. Before co-founding Women’s Shelters Canada, Lise was the Executive Director of Women’s World 2011, an international feminist conference that hosted more than 2,000 participants from 92 countries in Ottawa.

Dr. Jennifer Kagan is a passionate advocate against gender-based violence in all its forms. As a physician, Jennifer brings her clinical experience to the table when assisting women and children who have been subjected to domestic violence and coercive control. As a survivor and an advocate against domestic violence, Jennifer’s work focuses on legislative change so that no mother experiences the pain she experienced after losing her daughter, Keira, to murder-suicide. Her campaign, #ForLittleKeira, honours her daughter. She has played an integral role in advocating for Keira’s Law, contained within Bill C-233, which, if passed by the Canadian House of Commons, will aim to improve judicial education on domestic violence and coercive control for federally appointed Judges, reduce femicide and filicide, and better protect children from the trauma of domestic violence. 

“First Republic Capital is proud to be the Partner for the Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award and honoured to have Lise Martin and Dr. Jennifer Kagan as this year’s recipients,” says Anthony Durkacz, Executive Vice President. We deeply admire Lise’s extensive career commitment to ending gender-based violence and Jennifer’s determination through her advocacy work to bring attention to domestic violence, reduce femicide and prevent another mother from the preventable loss of a child to violence.”


Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic for women and gender-diverse people experiencing violence, established in the memory of Barbra Schlifer. The Clinic is a multi-disciplinary, front-line service provider that assists more than 10,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through counselling, legal representation, and language interpretation.  

For more information, please visit The Award. To arrange an interview with Lise Martin or Dr. Jennifer Kagan, please contact Pamela Rice at [email protected] or 416-312-8998.