16 April 2011

UManitoba Prof Wins Humanitarian Award

Joan Durrant, PhD, one of my profs at University has received an award from the Manitoba Chapter of Canadian Red Cross.  They awarded her the Humanitarian of the Year award for her efforts to promote positive, nonviolent, parenting, and for protecting children.

I have covered Durrants material on Notes on Parenting, and provided readers with a link where you can get her positive parenting book..... for FREE. It has always been free and will always be free. That's one of the amazing things about her and her work.

If I may share some anecdotes from my experience having Durrant as a Professor.

I remember one of my first occasions in her classroom, we were discussing sexual abuse (this class exposed me to the Sheldon Kennedy story, which motivated me to work at a sexual assault centre, which led me to meet my hockey hero Theo when he was releasing his book).  This led to a discussion about the age of consent.  Much of the discussion surrounded the age of 14 (as that was the age of consent in Canada).  I brought up that this had changed, and the age of consent was now 16, to better protect our children.  She corrected me by saying that it was 14, not 16.  I just left it at that, no need to create a stir in the classroom.  On the bus ride home, having completely forgotten about the incident, I received an email apology from Durrant.  She explained how she had been out of the country when the law changed and was therefore unaware of the changes. I admire when someone is able to admit they were wrong.

Second occasion, again in the classroom. We were discussing religion and its role of contributing violence against children. Me being from a frequently misunderstood minority religion (you need to meet 1000 Winnipeggers before you meet someone of my faith), was brought up during the class.  Of course, I came to the defence of this misunderstanding.  Durrant agreed to meet with me outside of class time, during her office hours.  I was thrilled and delighted by her understanding and acceptance of my concerns of what was being taught.  She was open minded.  Now, I don't know if she changed her teaching curriculum at all, and that doesn't matter to me, it was just that she was willing to listen and hear me out.

I think these show how she has great concern for the individual, which is shown also in her work as she tries to protect the vulnerable population of children.

Congratulations on your award!!!!!

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