Violence, scandal, and gossip tend to dominate Winnipeg’s major dailies and evening news. More often than not, the good being done in our community often gets lost in the media mix.
The thoughtful actions of people like transit driver Kris Doubledee, and lottery-winners Kirby and Marie Fontaine; random acts of kindness like the 228-order-strong chain of generous Tim Hortons drive-through customers; and the repeated news that we rank as the most generous province in Canada; these are stories that suggest goodwill is alive and well in our community.
But is Winnipeg really a city of compassion?
Community News Commons and The Winnipeg Foundation will host a special Forum at the Winnipeg Free Press News Café on Wednesday, January 23, starting at 7 pm. Please plan to join the insightful panelists; Gerry Labossiere, Manju Lodha, Elder Mae Louise Campbell, and Michael Champagne, for an evening of thoughtful discussion on the nature of kindness, altruism, and compassion in our streets and neighbourhoods. Share your thoughts on how you’ve experienced compassion in Winnipeg, and learn what we all can do to become a more caring and empathetic community.
Follow us on Twitter @CNCwpg
More about our panelists:
Manju Lodha came to Canada from India with her family in 1972, and has lived in Manitoba since 1989.
Manju is a grassroots activist, writer and poet, who promotes multicultural/anti-racist/multi-faith education in the community. Manju serves on the board of Winnipeg Art Gallery and the board of Manitoba Association for Multicultural Education. She is a member of the Interfaith Roundtable and on the Education Committee of the Manitoba Multifaith Council. Her work is used by Dr. Brenda Cantelo in teaching World Religions at the University of Manitoba and she has also presented her work in Canada and internationally. Her most recent work is a book and DVD called, “In the Spirit of Humanity” and a multifaith video,”Leap in Faith.”
Mae Louise Campbell
Mae Louise Campbell is an Ojibway Métis Elder. She has gained respect within the Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal community during her travels across Canada sharing traditional Aboriginal teachings. She has sat on many boards, been the guest speaker at numerous organizational and political meetings, and led thousands of sharing / healing circles. Mae Louise works for Red River College as Elder-in-Residence and recently received the Manitoba Lieutenant Governor Award for Advancement of Interreligious Understanding. Mae Louise used to live in St. Laurent, Manitoba where she was the keeper of Grandmother Moon Lodge, a centre created for women in need of spiritual healing and growth. She now lives in Winnipeg’s North Point Douglas neighbourhood, where she continues her work of helping others.
Gerry Labossière is a Chartered Accountant whose rich work experience includes the position of Auditor for the City of Winnipeg. In 2001, Gerry founded AIS, a company which has rapidly become one of the North American leaders in healthcare eLearning solutions. His background includes strategic planning, performance improvement, financial management, controllership, marketing, receivership, and auditing. Gerry has been active as a volunteer in numerous organizations, including current Chair of the Catholic Healthcare Sponsors of Manitoba (CHSM), a member of the Board of the Winnipeg Foundation, and as co- chair of a $6M Renewal and Restoration of St-Boniface Cathedral. He has served on the Board and / or Committees of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, St-Boniface Hospital, Centre de Santé de St-Boniface, Université St-Boniface, the St-Boniface Cultural Centre and Le Cercle Moliere, and many others.
Originally from Shamattawa, Manitoba, Michael Champagne is an occupational health and safety officer and a proud citizen of Winnipeg’s North End. In addition to volunteering his time as a board and committee member of the North End Renewal Corporation, Mount Carmel Clinic, and the United Way of Winnipeg’s Aboriginal Relations Council, Michael is responsible for organizing AYO! (Aboriginal Youth Opportunities), a youth-lead anti-gang organization committed to creating opportunities within the community. Find him on Twitter @northendmc
TOWARD A COMPASSIONATE WINNIPEG
Recently, a delegation from Winnipeg traveled to Louisville, Kentucky — in November 2012 and again in May 2013 — to learn how city leaders there began Compassionate Louisville. From schools to government, healthcare to policing, Louisville is proving that a lasting, positive impact is created when compassion informs the day-to-day life of a city.
Community News Commons encourages anyone to imagine what Winnipeg could become if we followed the lead of Louisville and made compassion an integral part of our community life.
Click on the links below to read other CNC articles on creating a compassionate Winnipeg:
Friendship blossoms for Sikhs, Mennonites in North Kildonan
Knowing more about others creates greater compassion
Compassion helps take back the streets
Golden Rule unites world religions
The hard work of living a compassionate life
Winnipeg encouraged to adopt Golden Rule
Delegation seeks compassion, will hear Dalai Lama speak
Winnipeg delegation looks to compassionate Louisville
Forum on compassion asks: Does Winnipeg care?
Is Winnipeg a compassionate city?
You can also type the word ‘compassion’ into the search bar at the top of this page to access more stories on this subject.