My recent trip to Canada held one major surprise and the image, vivid after more than two weeks, of a kid in a red shirt.
2012 was a busy year for the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council. To see what we've been up to, be sure to check out the progress on our 2012/2013 Priority Directions. It's also been busy here on the Smart on Crime blog with over 50 posts, 5 guest bloggers and many comments from readers.
Last night I put together a "Grocery Store Stand" for my four-year old granddaughter. I had difficulty, not because I hadn't been engaged in a similar activity for about 25 years, reading with weary eyes "Easy to Follow" directions written for MIT grads. No, I had a hard time because I would have tears in my eyes thinking of the parents in Newtown, Connecticut who would not be prying open boxes, assembling bikes and bridges and stores and castles, assembling what would be the joyous shouts of discovery, of Christmas.
I’ve been asked this question. Not these “exact’ words, but it certainly felt that way when I was asked to ‘provide a rationale’ as to why we use yoga as part of our programs at inREACH, a street gang prevention program in Waterloo Region. Here’s the rationale I gave… which also seems to be backed up by a lot of good solid evidence.
Has the Internet and its anonymity ruined civility? Let me be more precise. Has our ability to instantaneously respond to issues that we see reported in the media given rise to intemperate thoughts, comments or attitudes? What makes me ask the question is reading the reader comments to articles in any given newspaper, on any given day, on almost any topic.
Being tough on crime often means talking about keeping criminals off the street, protecting the rights of victims and deterring offenders from either offending in the first place, or re-offending upon release. All of these things, however laudable, sound great on talk radio.
How to understand the complex nature and impact of psychological trauma in our community? Important steps are being taken in this direction by KidsLink, a Waterloo Region based organization supporting the emotional and mental health of children and youth in our community.
By now you've likely heard, read or seen the tragic story of Amanda Todd who committed suicide a few weeks after posting a video of her using flash cards to describe the torment she faced as a result of being initially cyber-bullied which then overflowed to actual violence. She made the mistake, as many young people do, of sending a picture of herself (sexting) which was then used to basically blackmail her into other unwanted activities. She trusted the wrong people who used her innocence against her.
I wish this were a fairy tale but sadly, it's all too true. Every so often my white bread world is, to quote a British friend, "gobsmacked" (shaken, astonished, shocked) and this was the case recently when I attended a workshop on the issue of human trafficking in Canada. The event was sponsored by the Downtown East Project and hosted by the Steps to Change Diversion Program.
When you have the opportunity to learn from someone who has 'been there'... take it! This week, we had the honour of welcoming and hosting Jamie Courtorielle in Waterloo Region. Jamie is cycling across Canada in order to raise awareness about addictions and the destruction it is causing in our families, communities, and most of all, our youth.