Dr. Thomas Mark Turay, died suddenly September 6, 2015 in Sierra Leone. “Dr. Peace”, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, was elected as a Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone, West Africa in 2012. Thomas joined the Coady Institute in 2000, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience in the field of adult education and community-based development. In 2005, Thomas received a cross appointment to the Department of Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University to join the faculty offering the Master of Adult Education. The primary focus of his work was in the areas of peacebuilding, human rights, advocacy, development education and indigenous African knowledge systems. He worked closely with the 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.
In 2008, he returned to Sierra Leone to focus on his work with the Center of Development and Peace Education, an organization he directed and co-founded even before coming to the Coady. Over the past year Thomas 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, Thomas 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.