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Awake and Aware Series: Part Three

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During the Awake and Aware virtual conversation series we'll explore important questions about leadership and identity.

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Welcome to Part 3 of the Awake and Aware Series!

Join us for the launch of our next free series of virtual conversations as we explore important questions about leadership, diversity and identity. Sessions will take place on Wednesdays from November 4th - December 9th, 2020.

In this next chapter, we will hear from a number of influential leaders in our community, discuss topics that range from Truth and Reconciliation to Mindfulness and Writing.

We hope you will join us for these important and thought-provoking discussions.


November 18, 2020 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM (MST)

Joanne Kinya Baker - "When you know better, you do better: Building an Anti-racist leadership identity"

Join us for in this informative conversation about creating an inclusive identity that is meaningful.
This session is designed to take a deeper dive into why talking about racism is so difficult but yet so important. We will take a critical look into the importance of creating and normalizing an anti-racist identity while creating space for diverse voices. Participants will walk away with some tangible and practical steps to achieving this in our everyday space. Joanne will also share the experiences and challenges of Black Women striving to get a seat at the table.
Participants of this session are encouraged to come in with open minds and hearts because as Maya Angelou said: When we know better, we do better.
Joanne Kinya Baker (she/her) is a registered social worker in the area of governance and community development.  Joanne describes herself as is a social justice and change advocate. She is passionate about anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, the legal justice system, refugee and asylum seeker wellness, and adult mental health. Joanne’s educational Background is in Psychology, and she completed her Masters in Social Work, Community and International development from the University of Calgary, and a Diversity and Inclusion certification from Cornell University. Joanne works as a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist with a municipal government where she works within the administration, politicians and community to promote social change, develop strategies to becoming a welcoming and inclusive community. She is also a part-time social work instructor at a Calgary institution. Joanne founded Shades of Humanity Consulting to further the work she was doing alongside her multiple roles as not only was it a passion to have conversations about inclusion and equity, but her experiences with racism led her to create a space where people could learn how to have difficult, but life changing conversations.
The most impacting part of her career was when Joanne worked with refugees across refugee camps in Africa with the UN. Joanne sits on Corrections Canada’s Citizens Advisory Board for the Calgary Parole Office as the Vice Chair and the Calgary Police Services Diversity Unit Advisory Board. 
Joanne enjoys travelling and experiencing the amazing cultures this world has to offer. She has traveled to 36 countries and is on a challenge to hit 40 before she turns 40 (which is coming up quick!)

November 25, 2020 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM (MST)

Session Cancelled

December 2, 2020 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM (MST)

Marie Bowen - "Disrupt the Stigma, Invisible Disabilities and Discrimination"

Marie Bowen is a retired principal, special education teacher and facilitator. In this session we will explore a myriad of disabilities that individuals cope with everyday that aren't visible to those around them. Sometimes there is a benefit to keeping a disability hidden, but often because it can't be seen it isn't understood by others, discrimination and lack of acceptance can result. Individuals with invisible disabilities can suffer from social isolation, job loss, discrimination and even ridicule. Let's discuss how we can begin to see what might be invisible and learn to understand, accept and even celebrate the differences we all bring into this world.

December 9, 2020 - 4:30 - 5:30 PM (MST)

Jennifer Bertrand and Amber Pavey - "Dwelling in the Present: How Writing and Mindfulness Can Help to Reset Our Busy Minds"

Research into writing for wellbeing and mindfulness suggest long-term physical and mental health benefits from regular practice. But how do we fit either into our busy lives? In this session, we will explore accessible mindfulness and writing exercises you can use anytime and almost anywhere to help refocus on the present. Join us as we pause and take a peaceful journey together just in time for the holiday season.

For more information, please visit:

Events are virtual and will take place on Zoom.

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