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City honours Respect Award winners

Carolyn Karle of the DEK Foundation and Roots Community Food Centre are this year's recipients

THUNDER BAY — Diversity Thunder Bay's annual celebration Wednesday of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination saw an individual and a group each receive the city's respect. Awards.

The awards are an initiative of the Anti-Racism & Equity Advisory Committee and Community Safety & Well-Being Thunder Bay.

This year's honours go to Carolyn Karle, founder of the DEK Foundation, and to Roots Community Food Centre.

Karle was recognized for her efforts to improve the lives of individuals and families battling with addiction, and to help stop stigma related to mental health and substance use.

In announcing her selection, the respect. working group said she has identified barriers that community members face in their struggles with addiction and mental health, and in accessing resources to support their recovery.

They commented that "she works tirelessly to advocate for appropriate supports and responses to the ongoing opioid crisis."

The group described Roots Community Food Centre as using food as a tool to connect people and to build belonging and dignity through meaningful programs and advocacy.

"Since 2012, Roots has embodied the importance of prioritizing and respecting human dignity throughout their work...Respect is at the core of how RCFC supports individuals as they carry out their work in partnership with community organizations."

Jeff Upton, a member of the working group and chair of Community Safety & Well-Being Thunder Bay, said they were pleased to honour both recipients for their empowerment of others, and for leading with compassion, dedication and respect.



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