The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NLTA), the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Faculty of Education at Memorial University have together received a national Red Cross Partners in Humanity Citation for their combined work in designing and hosting the EDGE 2013 conference.
The award is in recognition of their commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable people within their community by assisting the Red Cross to effectively mobilize the power of humanity.
The EDGE 2013 conference, titled At the Edge: Creating Direction for Peace and Justice, took place Aug. 21-23, 2013, at Memorial University. The goal of the conference was to bring together people and organizations involved in educating and working with youth who recognize that “in every act of violence and injustice there is a message that needs to be understood” (Jean Vanier, 2008). At the conference, participants listened to and reflected on these messages and committed to personal and organizational change.
Dr. Dorothy Vaandering, assistant professor with the Faculty of Education, was chair of the EDGE 2013 conference. She says that several positive changes in our community have already begun.
“Many initiatives began in those few days that are now being realized,” said Dr. Vaandering. “A provincial restorative justice consortium is now a reality and hosted at MUN, the impetus for a provincial Violence Elimination Project recently initiated by the Harris Centre originated as a result of the conference; collaborative relationships amongst organizations for youth were strengthened and now this national recognition of our efforts by the Red Cross, indicates that so many at the conference have taken up the challenge to live out a new vision for our world, based on every human person as important; where we commit to changing and becoming the cooperative one, the understanding one, the listening one.”
The award presentation took place on Dec. 9 at the Teaching and Learning Commons on the St. John’s campus. Ms. Anna Power, Manager of Fund Development in the Newfoundland and Labrador region with the Red Cross, presented the awards to each of the partners.
“The EDGE conference was an excellent example of the power of humanity at work in our communities here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Ms. Power. “The organizers along with the Canadian Red Cross had a vision for a conference on social justice with youth as our focus. Red Cross is proud to recognize this very successful collaboration with the Partners in Humanity Citation.”
This national award is rarely presented to large public institutions. Past recipients of the award include Kids Help Phone, WestJet, Desjardins and Walmart.