The tenth annual respect. Award recipients were announced during the Diversity Thunder Bay Celebration today, with the honour going to one individual and one local organization. Community leader Barbara Cooper and Elevate NWO received a respect. Award for their efforts to promote attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that demonstrate respect.

“We are so pleased to honour two very deserving recipients with this year’s respect. Award for their empowerment of others, and by leading with compassion, dedication and respect,” said Jeff Upton, Chair of Community Safety & Well-Being Thunder Bay, and a member of the respect. Working Group.

“Congratulations to Barbara Cooper and Elevate NWO for dedicating so much of their time and energy towards fostering positive relationships and inclusion, and for their service to our community.”

Cooper, who works in Health Records at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was nominated for her caring and compassionate approach to her work. She recognizes the importance of human dignity and exemplifies respect in her interactions with co-workers and clients.

Elevate NWO was recognized as it staged an intervention to support individuals who were sleeping unsheltered in local encampments. Finding appropriate housing and supports, the group’s approach prioritized compassion, dignity and respect. Individuals involved in the program are being supported to work as house leaders in the housing units, and as community support workers at Elevate’s warming centre. The program participants are gaining valuable employment skills that will help them secure permanent housing.

A special video featuring this year’s recipients can be viewed at

respect. is an Initiative of the City of Thunder Bay’s Anti-Racism & Respect Advisory Committee and Community Safety & Well-Being Thunder Bay. The respect. Awards are sponsored by Diversity Thunder Bay. Currently there are over 90 local organizations that have committed to respect. Other organizations in the community are invited to sign up and be a part of this initiative.

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Contact:       Lee-Ann Chevrette, Community Safety & Well-Being Specialist, 807-631-4422