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SOURCE Respect Group Inc.
CALGARY, Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Sheldon Kennedy, former professional
hockey player and international child advocate, will be speaking about
his personal story of abuse and recovery and how he became a leader of
social reform in Canada. Kennedy's talk titled, "Tragedy to Triumph:
Overcoming Child Sexual Abuse and Leading Social Change" will be held
at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday October 10th in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 100 Henderson Building, on the
Penn State University Park campus. Students, faculty, and community
members are all invited to attend both Kennedy's talk and the panel
discussion and Q&A that follows.
Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career but
is best known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior
Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over
a five year period while a teenager under his care. Sheldon has become
an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world and a
committed, outspoken child advocate. His life story was made into an
award winning movie, he has appeared on numerous TV shows including
Oprah and ABC's Nightline, and he was named Canada's newsmaker of the
year in 1997. In 1998, Sheldon in-line skated across Canada to raise
awareness of child abuse and donated all $1.2M proceeds from the skate
to the Canadian Red Cross - Respect ED program. In 2006, Sheldon wrote
"Why I Didn't Say Anything" a riveting account of the many
psychological impacts of abuse. He has received several awards for his
tireless work including the Canadian Red Cross Caring Award, Scotiabank
Humanitarian Award, and 2012 Calgary Citizen of the year. Sheldon has
influenced changes in Canadian law, and in policies in Canada's
youth-serving sports organizations targeting the prevention of child
sexual abuse, and has taken his message to the International Olympic
Committee and the US Senate. Sheldon is Honorary Chair of the National
Advisory Committee for 1in6 Canada, an advocacy group for male
survivors of child sexual abuse, and he serves on the Board of the
Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Canada.
Sheldon continues to influence social change through Respect Group, the
company he co-founded that provides empowering on-line education for
the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment in youth serving
organizations, schools and the workplace.
Four panelists will join Kennedy after his talk to engage with the
audience in an extended question-and-answer discussion session. Each
panelist brings a different expertise in child maltreatment to the
discussion but have in common their strong advocacy for children.
Jennie Noll, Ph.D, an internationally recognized researcher and
professor of HDFS, is one of the new faculty hires in child
maltreatment by Penn State University. Dr. Noll has been part of a
research team involved in a 30-year longitudinal study of female
survivors of incest, and is now serving as the Director of Research and
Education for the Penn State Network on Child Protection and
Well-Being. Teresa Smith, Ph.D., LSW, has spent her entire career
working with children in distress as a caseworker at Children and Youth
Services, Director of a Children's Advocacy Center, and currently as
the Outreach and Training Coordinator of the Northeast Regional
Children's Advocacy Center. Pam McCloskey, M.Ed, is a licensed child
psychologist who has worked with abused children for over 20 years, and
is a nationally certified child forensic interviewer. John Soubik is a
Penn State HDFS alumnus and a former child welfare investigator who
currently works for the state government as the PennDOT workforce and
Sheldon Kennedy's talk, the panel discussion, and the reception to
follow are co-sponsored by Penn State's Justice Center for Research and
the Network on Child Protection and Well-Being.
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