5 Principles for Talking Politics with Friends and Family

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How do you engage in discussions about politics with those you care about? For many, the answer is “I don’t!” Others engage eagerly in these discussions, but find themselves repeatedly caught in the muck of destructive conflict. There is another way – one that allows for respectful discourse and even strengthened relationships. In 2007, I was invited to participate in … Read More

International Day of Pink – Let’s Put an End to Bullying

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Wednesday April 12th, 2017 is International Day of Pink. A Canadian initiative, the idea began three years ago at a rural high school in Nova Scotia when a grade 9 boy was harassed for wearing a pink shirt to school. Two senior male students decided enough was enough, and launched the first Day of Pink to invite folks to take … Read More

7 Tips for Defusing Violent Situations

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“I am going to kick your ass!” Suddenly, and probably unexpectedly, you’re confronted by an angry person. How do you react? Your gut is telling you to run or fight yet it’s not always that simple. What if this is a student of yours? What if you are a support worker responsible for this individual? What if you’re a supervisor … Read More

5 Pillars to Support Someone with FASD

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Imagine wearing a pair of badly fitting shoes day in and day out. What would this do to your walk, to your well-being? You’d develop blisters and foot pain. Continuing to wear the shoes would hamper your movement – you’d likely change how you walk, maybe limp a bit. You’d be frustrated, a little more irritable and you would definitely … Read More

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – Working to End Abuse

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The United Nations (UN) has named June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), building on the Plan of Action signed by all member countries in 2002. Perhaps you have noticed a senior gentleman on your street who sits out on the front porch day after day, and you have felt a twinge of concern that no matter what … Read More

LGBT* Pride – Moving Beyond June

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In June communities around the world remember the challenges of the past for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two spirit and queer individuals, couples and families, and look to the challenges still ahead. In these communities, “Pride” is well recognized to refer to a time of celebration, of mourning, of advocacy and of expression of self without barriers. Held in June, … Read More

Random Acts of Kindness: 5 Simple Steps

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines “random” as “Having no definite aim or purpose; not set or guided in a particular direction; made, done, occurring, etc., without method or conscious choice; haphazard.” I am asking you to completely disregard the Oxford Dictionary definition of random. Instead, I want you to celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th, 2016 and every … Read More

Domestic Violence: Mind Your Business by Making it Your Business!

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White hand stop silence on the topic of domestic violence

It’s November again, and that means since 1987 it has officially been Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It seems obvious what the purpose of any formally designated awareness-raising month is: stand up for the cause, donate any resources you have to offer, increase awareness, work to eradicate, and remember those impacted. But less obvious is what this equates to the other … Read More

Threats of Violence – Be Curious

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I recently attended a conference related to violence and the assessment of potential for violence. I have attended many of these types of conferences over the years and have found a common theme presented to be the subtle and sometimes not so subtle punitive response to those who utter threats or are viewed as a potential to escalate towards violence. … Read More