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Mary Woo Sims was born in Hong Kong and became a Canadian citizen in 1978. Sims is a social justice activist, politician, and the former chief commissioner of the British Columbia Human Rights Commission from 1997 to 2001. As the chief human rights commissioner, she helped found the Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Rape Crisis Centre in Vancouver and recommended to expand the Human Rights Code to include gender identity. Sims was also a candidate for the New Democratic Party in the Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam district in the 2006 federal election. As an advocate of LGBTQ rights, same-sex spousal rights, employment equity, and co-chair of the Campaign for Equal Families, Sims’ community work has been recognized through awards such as the Chinese National Council’s ‘Chinese Canadian Pioneer’ Award, Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto’s ‘Honoring Heroes’ award, and awards from the Gay Asians of Toronto.