Protecting our rural children in the City

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Soaring Eagles Conference

Pleasure today to talk to youth from all over Northern and Southern Rural Manitoba today, Frontier School Division, on how to stay safe in the City. A large finding in my PhD research the rural/urban human trafficking pipelines that traffickers take advantage of, knowing our youth often have to come into larger urban centres to continue their schooling; we must work together to keep them safe.

Brandi Chrismas, BA

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Brandi Alexandra Chrismas, BA

Proud Dad, so pleased I was invited to join the Academic Procession and be the first on stage to congratulate my wonderful daughter Brandi Tuesday (June 5th), receiving her Bachelor of Arts (advanced), at the University of Manitoba. Brandi is the only person I know who has published multiple articles in her undergrad studies; a bright young scholar who is going places in her public service career. Congratulations Brandi, all your hard work and tenacity has paid off- and the bigger journey is just beginning.

 

Fun and reflective experience, School Patrol Awards

What a great experience attending with Chief Smyth and all the dedicated School Resource and Education Officers, for the yearly Patrol Awards, particularly gratifying as it caused me to reflect back on my career of community service, which really started with being a School Patrol Captain, at Royal-Ecole School, 44 years ago. I believe many of these youth will continue on a path as peace-keepers.

Also happy I was able to teach them something about respect, holding a minute of silence for officer Steve Dzikowski, who signed my Patrol Certificate in 1974, retired in 1987, and passed away this week.

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Youth Role Model Awards, inspiring to see Canada’s future leaders in the arts, sport, politics and academics

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Happy to participate in the Citizen’s Equity Committee, Youth Role Model Awards last night. It is inspiring to hear about their accomplishments and meet Canada’s future leaders in the arts, sports, politics, academics and more.

Have a dream, follow your vision.

IMG_0280Our daughter Chelsea had a dream to become a Yoga teacher. SheIMG_0457 practised and took classes, for years, and eventually got accepted into a reputed Yoga teacher school in India. She gutted through the intensive training, despite being taken to the clinic twice and hospitalized once, for travellers sicknesses, over the month-plus intensive training.
She gave free public lessons in Assiniboine Park for a year, and private lessons every chance she got. Now she will teach in a brand new studio opening next week in Winnipeg.  Chelsea has maintained a strict plant-based diet for three years, and is studying for her degree in kinesiology, all to improve her holistic practice, and she will help people live healthier and more fulfilled lives.

IMG_0486.jpgIt goes to show that we just need a vision and some passion, and a will to make it happen, and any dream can come true. People can move mountains, they just need to believe in themselves and put one foot in front of the other until the dreams become reality.

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Celebration of Diversity

Loved participating in this Celebration of Diversity Monday evening, at Elmwood High school; youth from 20 different countries made this flag, brought ethnic food and demonstrated their ethnic songs and dances.

Hanging out with some great community leaders tonight

GRATITUDE

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GRATEFUL for a wife and family that loves, friends who care, and colleagues with mutual respect

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GRATEFUL for parents who taught me to be fair, kind, and to work hard for a place in the world

 

GRATEFUL to be free and have had the opportunity to seek an education

GRATEFUL for mentors and teachers who pay forward for the gifts they’ve been given

GRATEFUL for adversity, because otherwise how could we appreciate overcoming itIMG_0054

GRATEFUL to have a voice to speak, write, and leave a legacy, no matter how small

GRATEFUL for health, and the life I’ve had doing what I wish

GRATEFUL to live in a diverse community, with access to the best of many cultures

GRATEFUL to have the opportunity to serve, family, friends and community

My PhD Thesis

Click here for full dissertation

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Very proud today to receive the U of Manitoba, DISTINGUISHED DISSERTATION AWARD; this only happens because of the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Sean Byrne, and the fantastic learning environment established in the Mauro Centre and University of Manitoba, but really could not have happened without my wonderful wife Barb by my side, and the sacrifices my family made for me to continue in this educational journey; what a wonderful acknowledgement though, for someone who returned to complete high school as an adult, and entered grad studies late in life. It’s never too late to pursue your passions…

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Thrilled, honoured and humbled to be nominated and selected for the:
UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA DISTINGUISHED THESIS AWARD, to be presented this fall, and to have my thesis selected among all faculties to be nominated by the University of Manitoba for the CANADIAN DISTINGUISHED DISSERTATION AWARD by the Canadian Graduate Studies Association.

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RIGHTS HERE AND NOW

Pleased, and honoured, to participate in the student led human rights conference with Doctoral Candidate Michele Lemonius, speaking on human rights and contemporary harassment and sexual violence issues. These young minds are engaged and responsible; our future is bright. (Click for more info on the conference).

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Grant Park High School Human Rights Conference

Looking forward to presenting and participating in a panel on Human Rights and sexual violence- Tuesday, 17 April, 2018.

Love, public service, and the unvarnished truth

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I wonder how many people know the life of a first responder, the things they are exposed to and the reality that they live with. A student in a university class on violence and conflict recently asked me, how do police officers deal with the stress of the job. I pointed out that medical staff, nurses and doctors, paramedics, fire fighters and police officers deal with people at their maddest, baddest and saddest, routinely exposed to things that are beyond the normal human experience. They see things that they don’t want to burden their family or friends with, so who do they talk to, and when do they unburden themselves?

First responders are the tip of the public service spear, first to arrive at some of society’s nastiest problems, dealing with humanity at it’s worst, they exemplify some of humankind’s best. Police and firefighters, like soldiers, must come to terms early in their career with the sacrifice they may be called upon to make at any given moment. And make no mistake, when they sign up, their spouses and families are signed up along with them. But it is important to point out that all public servants, in all their varied roles, sacrifice for their work, whether it be in public office, clerical or administrative roles, dealing with some of society’s worst problems. To me, and I think most civil servants, public service means committing to serve, putting community well-being first. First responders represent the epitome of service, literally knowing they could be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice. But, most of their work is more of a slow burn, dealing daily with conflict, victimization and administration, two minutes of terror followed by eight hours of paperwork- as the saying goes.

They have to be stoic and professional at scenes of violence, the calm voice and steady hand for people during the worst crisis of their life––over and over again in any given tour of duty, and then never really having a chance to scream themselves; Public speaking when they are afraid, humble and uncomfortable, but the message is so important to say; Taking shit, “I pay your salary” and just smiling when people tell you their speeding ticket story; Being called a racist when you’ve dedicated your life to fighting racism; Tedious investigations and endless paperwork, so court cases don’t fail; Leaving family, no matter if it’s Christmas, an anniversary or birthday, to help other people with their crisis, managing a threat to public safety, or making sure a crime is investigated; Working and guarding the community while everyone else in the City sleeps except for criminals, drunks and cabbies; Safeguarding someone’s dignity when they are attacking yours, protecting them while they are assaulting you; Taking an eyeful of pepper spray, being tazered, and practicing self defense tactics on each other, so they you know what it would feel like if you ever have to use it on a criminal; Going into a dark building to search for intruders, knowing that a colleague recently caught a two-by-four in the face in the same scenario; Intervening in a fight when a terrified person has called for help, with the memory that you recently did the same thing and while you were putting the cuffs on him, she changed her mind and attacked you from behind; Facing a crowd in protest, allowing them to spit on you, swear at and berate you, hoping you see it coming if someone throws a rock or chemicals or a malotov cocktail from the crowd, knowing you are there for their protection; The proverbial, running towards danger when everyone else is running away.

The unsung support roles are just as stressful, the nurse’s aide who cleans up all the blood and medical supplies in the emergency room, getting ready for the next emergency while a grieving family from the previous one is still in the other room, the dispatcher who listens helplessly to the high-speed pursuit, desperate citizens calling for help, the officer voicing for backup while they are being attacked, or the firefighter down in a smoke-filled building, and the list goes on.

It is the greatest honour to have such meaningful work protecting community, the opportunity to practice pure compassion for people, even if it puts you in harms way; but folks should know it is a privilege that comes with a cost. It is a calling that cannot be described well without the term love, love of humanity, love of community and gratitude for the opportunity to serve a pure purpose in life. That is the unvarnished truth for most first responders.

Protecting Refugee Children

Very pleased to co-author this short article for Manitoba School Counsellor Magazine with my learned and insightful friend and colleague, Sandra Hodzic, who has deep perspective and passion for refugee youth. Sandra is leading the provinces exploration of social impact bonds for better youth outcomes.

Protecting refugee youth; Manitoba School Counsellor Magazine

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New role within the Police Service

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Working with great people, including new Division Commander- Bonnie Emerson, supporting our School Education Officers, Cadets, Diversity Unit, Crime Prevention, Indigenous Partnerships and Victim and Volunteer Services, as second in command of the Winnipeg Police Service Community Support Division, I am excited for the potential and looking forward to nurturing, supporting and guiding partnerships and community engagement in the coming months.

“The police are the people and the people are the police” (Sir Robert Peel, 1829).

 

 

Are you a University of Manitoba graduate? 

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Please take a minute to vote; make sure your interests are represented, and give me a voice on the Board to represent you.

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