OISE's distinguished scholar, Dr. Thomas Mark Turay—a great teacher, peace builder, co-founder and co-director of the Center for Development and Peace (CDPeace) in rural Sierra Leone—died September 6, 2015 suddenly of heart failure brought on by a severe asthma attack, not far from his home in Sierra Leone. He will be much missed by fellow alumni, colleagues and friends.
The primary focus of Dr. Turay's work was in the areas of peacebuilding, human rights, advocacy, development education, peace education, and indigenous African knowledge systems. He worked closely with the Coady Institute’s overseas partners in Egypt, Guyana, Jamaica and Sierra Leone, and with Canadian NGOs including Canadian Friends of Sierra Leone, Partnership Africa Canada, Peacefund Canada, Peaceful Schools International, the International Centre for Conflict Resolution and Mediation, and the Tatamagouche Training Centre.
He stepped down as senior program staff at the Coady Institute and as a faculty member in the Department of Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University in 2008. He returned to Sierra Leone to focus on his work with the Center for Development and Peace Education, an organization he directed and co-founded before coming to the Coady. Over the past year, Dr. Turay and his wife Mary, also a StFX graduate, gave much of their time and energy helping communities respond to the Ebola crisis in their country.
Prior to his work with the Coady Institute, Dr. Turay was also the Director of Caritas Makeni – an NGO which provides relief and development support for community-based organizations in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone.