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Our Mission

Empowering people to recognize and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) through interactive, online training courses.Harassment Prevention Training

Our Vision

Eliminate bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) by inspiring a global culture of respect.

Canadians Respect Certified

Respect Group is a Certified B Corporation. B Corps are companies that use business as a force for good, aspiring to solve social and environmental problems. Becoming a B Corp was important to us in order to share our business values with our clients and employees so that, together, we can all be proud.

All bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination online prevention training courses that are delivered and produced by Respect Group have been approved and certified by Respect Education, an educational offering of the Canadian Red Cross.

Respect Group is proud to give-back +10% of our annual revenue to not-for-profit organizations across Canada.

The Respect Platform Advantage

FAQ

Frequently asked questions about accessing our programs, how to log in, obtaining your certificate, or what to do in the event you witness bullying, abuse, harassment or discrimination.

Why Respect Matters

People want to be involved with organizations that demonstrate Respect. Often, Vision or Mission Statements include the word “Respect” however, few organizations have empowered and equipped ALL members of their team with the necessary tools and training to ensure a positive and psychologically safe environment.

Contact Us

Respect Group takes your privacy seriously. By submitting a request for information by email to a general or specific Respect Group email address, you are consenting to have a representative of Respect Group contact you by email.                   

About Us

Respect Group was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Respect Group is made up of a team of 30 talented individuals whose passion is to create a global culture of Respect.

We have enlisted pre-eminent experts to develop a best in class curriculum and e-learning platform. Expert content and a professional online training and certification model round out Respect Group’s fully outsourced risk management behaviour-change solutions for sport, schools and the workplace.

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Wayne McNeil

Wayne McNeil was Trustee and Vice-Chairman of the Rocky View School Division, volunteer President of the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation, which raised over $1.2 Million during the 1998 Cross-Canada Skate to raise awareness for the prevention of child abuse, served as Chairman of the Alberta Gymnastics Federation for six years andserved for 6 years as founding Board member of the Calgary and Area Child Advocacy Centre.

These volunteer roles and his commitment to child advocacy lead Wayne to co-found Respect Group Inc.; Canada’s first, on-line, abuse, discrimination, bullying and harassment prevention training program for community/sport organizations, schools and corporations.

Wayne has a seasoned, professional background in Information Technology and Project Management that he developed through key global positions with Bell Canada, 3Com Corporation and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). This strong IT expertise enabled Wayne to create a solid team and technology approach for Respect Group. Wayne was instrumental in forging an exclusive partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to combine Canada’s best abuse, bullying and harassment prevention curriculum (Respect Education) with Respect Group ‘s world-class, on-line training technology.

In 2007, Wayne was awarded the Canadian Red Cross Caring Award for his leadership in the promotion of violence and abuse prevention education.

Wayne McNeil   

Co-founder

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Sheldon Kennedy

 

Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career. He 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. Through this disclosure, and the important work that Sheldon continues to do, he has become an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world.

 

Sheldon has been instrumental in bringing governments, public and private sector partners together to work collaboratively to influence policy change and improve the way child abuse is handled. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the International Olympic Committee and the US Senate.

 

Sheldon was Co-Founder of the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Canada, offering full wrap-around services for victims of child abuse. He is also the Co-Founder of Respect Group, which provides empowering online abuse, bullying and harassment prevention education to sport organizations, schools and the workplace.

 

Sheldon’s awareness contributions are many:

  • He in-line skated across Canada in 1998 to highlight the issue of child abuse and donated 100% of the proceeds ($1.2M) towards abuse prevention programs. During this skate he was presented with the keys to the cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg.
  • His life story was made into an Award Winning TV movie.
  • In 2006 he published “Why I Didn’t Say Anything”; a riveting account of the many psychological impacts of abuse.
  • He has shared his story through countless media appearances including Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, W-5, The Fifth Estate, and was named Canada’s newsmaker of the year in 1997.
  • In 2016, Swift Current the documentary featured Sheldon’s story, providing a startling and never before seen look at recovery from childhood sexual abuse trauma.

 

Sheldon has received several awards for his tireless work including:

  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Regina, 2018
  • Hockey Canada Order of Merit, 2018
  • Honourary Bachelor of Business Administration, SAIT, 2016
  • Honourary Bachelor of Child Studies and Child and Youth Care, Mount Royal University, 2016
  • Member of The Order of Canada, 2015
  • Member of The Order of Manitoba, 2015
  • Alberta Order of Excellence 2016
  • Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of Calgary, 2015
  • Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award, University of Guelph, 2015
  • The David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award, 2014
  • Calgary Citizen of the Year 2013
  • Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of the Fraser Valley, 2012
  • Scotiabank Humanitarian Award, 2012
  • Canadian Red Cross Caring Award, 2007

Sheldon Kennedy   

Co-Founder

What Our Clients Have To Say

University of Calgary is proud to be the first academic institution in Canada to launch the Respect in the Workplace Program.

We believe the benefits of a respectful workplace include improved team communication, enhanced organizational health, reduced absenteeism, and increased morale and productivity.

Respect in the Workplace is helping us build a stronger, more vibrant campus culture, where every member feels valued for their contributions

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary

Obviously, super impressed with the program. Great to have it in such short bursts, and the app made it so convenient (I did most of it on my skytrain commute!).

The messages are varied and made to be relevant to the parents, somehow in a way that empowers them to take action. I never felt like I was being talked down to. Even having done many similar trainings, I learned new things, and felt more confident to take action.

It exceeded all my expectations, and quite honestly, it’s in my top online education programs of all time.

Kate Kloos
Manager, Coach Development, Viasport
The Respect in School program has had a lasting impression here at Moncton High School by empowering the bystander in the prevention of bullying, abuse and maltreatment.

The Respect in School program provides the user the skills to recognize, identify and report suspected abuse, bullying and maltreatment. Countless students reported and disclosed past abuse and bullying during the implementation of the program and most sought counselling for the first time.

The implementation of the Respect in School Program and sharing Sheldon Kennedy’s journey of hope and healing has been one of the most powerful things I have done in my sixteen-year teaching career.

Craig Eagles
Teacher, Moncton High School

Media

Calls for diversity, inclusion in sports amplified following Peters allegations

Calls for diversity, inclusion in sports amplified following Peters allegations

SOURCE: Calgary Herald:

SAMMY HUDES

 

As the Calgary Flames investigate allegations of racism and physical force by head coach Bill Peters toward former players, some say changes are desperately needed in order to foster a more inclusive environment in hockey from the grassroots to professional levels.

The allegations began surfacing Monday when former Flames forward Akim Aliu wrote on social media that Peters “dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room” while both were in the minors during the 2009-10 season.

Former Carolina Hurricanes player Michal Jordan later alleged that Peters kicked him and punched another player “to the head” during a game. Peters coached the Hurricanes prior to joining the Flames.

The allegations of racial slurs came as no surprise to Cecil Harris, who in 2003 wrote a book on racism in the sport titled, “Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey.”

“Only the names have changed, unfortunately, because the same racial intolerance exists,” said Harris, who is based in New York.

Throughout his research, he said he spoke to many black players who described having “buried” racist experiences in order to advance their hockey careers, including former Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

“Iginla shared a story with me. It’s something that happened when he was 15 years old. He was chased by some people and racial slurs were uttered,” said Harris, adding Aliu was “right in believing that he would have been blamed” had he come forward with his allegations against Peters sooner.

“The onus would be put on him and he would be attacked and he wouldn’t be able to progress in the sport.”

In Canada, more than 50 sport organizations across the country have partnered with the Respect Group, which strives to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in sports.

Co-founder Wayne McNeil said games like hockey are changing as new Canadians continue to fuel population growth across Canada.

“Have they been slow? Maybe we’ve all been slow across all sports to really come up with the best approach to getting new Canadians involved,” he said.

“We need to come up with the right messaging and scheduling and levels of play that are going to make it really exciting for new Canadians to be part of it.”

McNeil said the group tries to prepare coaches with the tools needed to handle their behaviour, especially in high-emotion circumstances.

“The emotional levels that people feel — be it coaches, be it parents — in a sport, they get elevated to a level that you don’t typically see in a workplace, or that you even encounter when you’re in a school environment,” he said.

“You look at a lot of the things that happen. They’re quick responses to high emotional moments often followed by apologies because people realize ‘oh my god, I don’t typically act like that.’”

He said coaches need to “understand their legal and moral duty of care,” while remembering that their goal is to build self-esteem in participants.

In a statement, the Coaching Association of Canada said “inclusion must be a foundational pillar of our sport system” and that it continues to educate coaches, administrators, and volunteers on the most “constructive ways to build inclusive and respectful sport experiences.”

Andrea Carey, director of operations and special projects with Sport for Life, said issues surrounding diversity and inclusion at the grassroots level are “rapidly changing right now.”

Carey said the organization trains those in the sporting community to create inclusive environments, with a focus on creating opportunities for Indigenous people and newcomers, people with disabilities, women and girls.

Akim Aliu skates with the Calgary Flames during his time with the team in April 2012. LORRAINE HJALTE / CALGARY HERALD

She said there’s still a huge gap in terms of staff, volunteers, parents and players being fully prepared to ensure a welcoming culture at all times.

“In many cases, they don’t know what they don’t know. They might think they know about, let’s say racism. They think they know what issues are around racism,” said Carey.

“But if you dive deeper, often they really don’t know because they maybe haven’t had the opportunity to work with someone with lived experience that can share that story and bring those topics to light.”

That still needs to be tackled from the top-down, according to Harris, who noted that while “outstanding players” of colour like Iginla or Edmonton Oilers great Grant Fuhr found acceptance at hockey’s highest level, “marginal” players have a harder time than white athletes of the same calibre.

He said more diversity is needed among hockey’s most influential decision-makers.

“It’s business as usual if the overwhelming majority of coaches, assistant coaches and general managers are white. I think the black player who is subjected to racial slurs will be told ‘just forget about.’ They cut deep if those words are uttered to you,” he said.

“If there was more diversity and inclusion … I think that would send a strong message to all players: respect everybody regardless of their background, get racism out of the sport. It doesn’t belong here. It’s vile.”

shudes@postmedia.com
Twitter: @SammyHudes

Canadian universities failing to protect athletes from abusive coaches, students say

Canadian universities failing to protect athletes from abusive coaches, students say

SOURCE:

Laura Kane – The Canadian Press

By

The Canadian Press

 –

VANCOUVER — Meredith Goldhawk has loved hockey since she was four.

But she says since a coach at the University of Windsor harassed and bullied her, she can’t even bring herself to play a pickup game with friends.

“Some days I will just sit down and cry because she took so much away from me,” says the 22-year-old.

The athlete is among several across Canada who say universities are failing to protect players from abuse. Students in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia all say their schools mishandled serious complaints against coaches in recent years.

Their fight is part of a movement to end so-called “old-school” coaching techniques that experts say are abusive. But change is slow, they say, because coaches hold so much power over players and some mistakenly believe military-style training is key to winning.

Six hockey players, including Goldhawk, complained to the University of Windsor about coach Deanna Iwanicka in February. The athletes allege she humiliated them in front of others, belittled them with expletive-laden insults and kicked out some without cause.

The university hired an investigator but refused to provide the final report to complainants, instead sending a four-page summary that didn’t address all the allegations, say Goldhawk and fellow complainant Reagan Kaufman.

The summary says the investigator found the allegations were unsubstantiated. For the most part, Iwanicka was “direct, clear and professional,” though it was “inappropriate and disrespectful” to tell Goldhawk and Kaufman they were being cut by phone, it says.

“It’s definitely not right,” says Kaufman. “If they had been there for everything we went through, she definitely wouldn’t still be coaching.”

The school says it can’t comment on personnel matters and Iwanicka, who is still head coach of the women’s team, didn’t respond to calls and emails requesting comment.

Margery Holman, a retired kinesiology professor who helped the University of Windsor players file their complaints, says post-secondary institutions lack courage.

“Often it’s a ‘he said, she said’ and we lean in the direction of the person in power because they have more at stake,” she says. “We’re not going to fire a coach, no matter the preponderance of evidence, if we can’t prove it.”

She adds coaches have unique power over athletes’ futures, determining whether a player is a starter or a bench warmer and influencing scholarships and other opportunities.

At the University of Lethbridge, an investigator found in July 2018 that women’s hockey coach Michelle Janus had violated its harassment policy. The school required her to undergo counselling and additional training and it also started developing a coaches’ code of conduct.

But the six players who had filed complaints had called for Janus to be fired or suspended. In August 2018, four of the complainants launched a lawsuit against the university, Janus and athletics director Ken McInnes seeking more than $1 million in damages.

The lawsuit alleges Janus bullied players, insulted them as “pathetic” and “useless” while using expletives, threw water bottles, broke equipment, punched doors and participated in a “fine jar” that charged fees to players for their sexual history or personal lives.

It also accuses Janus and McInnes of requiring players to vote on whether to allow a teammate who had attempted suicide to return to the team.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. The university, Janus and McInnes deny all the allegations in a joint statement of defence and say the lawsuit should be struck as it is “scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.”

Janus left her position at the university in January.

Complainants Alannah Jensen, Brittney Sawyer and Chelsea Kasprick all say they’re still suffering psychological and emotional impacts. Kasprick alleges Janus forced her to play five weeks after shoulder surgery, potentially causing permanent damage.

“I put so much on the line for this coach who had all the power and control and abused me and secluded me and isolated me from all my teammates,” Kasprick says.

Janus, the university and a lawyer representing the defendants declined comment as the matter is before the court. McInnes did not reply to a request for comment.

Last week, the University of Victoria wrapped an appeal process after three athletes and an assistant coach filed complaints accusing women’s rowing coach Barney Williams of verbal abuse and harassment.

The three rowers say the university threatened them with disciplinary action if they speak about the results of the investigation.

Lily Copeland is one of the complainants and has alleged Williams criticized her weight and appearance and yelled at her in a small, locked room.

Williams has said respects the confidentiality of the university probe and couldn’t provide a detailed response until it wrapped up. He didn’t respond to requests for comment after the investigation concluded.

He says he regards coaching as a privilege, and he encourages athletes to become their best version of themselves. Other athletes on the team credit Williams with their success.

The university has said privacy legislation and its own confidentiality policies apply to all investigations.

Jennifer Walinga, a Royal Roads University professor and Commonwealth Games gold medallist in rowing, says her research has shown that humiliating or neglecting athletes typically leads to worse performances.

“You can still win and be broken,” she notes. “But you can achieve greater heights, win more gold medals and for longer periods of time with a values-based approach to coaching.”

That approach includes supporting athletes’ mental health as well as their physical health, Walinga explains.

But she says the coaching style that is similar to combat training, involving hurling insults and swearing at athletes, still exists because our society tends to glorify people who can endure abuse.

“In society, it’s a naivete or an ignorance about what sport actually involves,” she says. “Sport is not war. It’s not a battle at all.”

There is a growing campaign to rid Canadian sports of abuse and harassment.

More than 700 national-team athletes responded to a survey by the group AthletesCan about mistreatment. Seventeen per cent reported psychological injuries, 15 per cent experienced neglect and four per cent suffered sexual harm.

The federal government has brought in a series of initiatives, including establishing new policy for national sports organizations, funding the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre to create an investigation unit and setting up a toll-free confidential tip line.

It’s crucial to encourage young people to remain enrolled in sports, says Carolyn Trono, a director with the non-profit group Sport for Life Society.

“If the place that you are going to voluntarily isn’t positive, why would you stay?”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2019.

ATHLETICS ONTARIO JOINS THE MOVEMENT WITH RESPECT GROUP INC.

ATHLETICS ONTARIO JOINS THE MOVEMENT WITH RESPECT GROUP INC.

Athletics Ontario Joins the Movement with Respect Group Inc.

November 22, 2019

TORONTO – Athletics Ontario (AO) announced today that it will become Respect Certified. Athletics Ontario has joined the movement with Respect Group, a forward-thinking organization founded by former NHLer turned victims’ rights crusader Sheldon Kennedy to deliver training to equip employees with the education and skills needed to prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD) in the workplace.

“Programs are one thing, making them a requirement for all members of the organization is about leadership and accountability,” said Sheldon Kennedy, Co-Founder of Respect Group. “Congratulations to Athletics Ontario for moving how we treat one another from the Policy category to the Priority category!”

In our revised Membership Policy, we will be requiring that all Coaches complete the Respect Group’s program “Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders,” before completing their renewal on Trackie.

“This is another very positive step forward in Athletics Ontario’s commitment to improve governance, accountability and safety across the entire sport, and we are proud to be partnering with the Respect Group” said Dean Hustwick, President and Chair of AO.

 

Please learn more about, and register for, the program here: https://athletics-canada-al.respectgroupinc.com/

Review the Membership policy for additional details here: https://athleticsontario.ca/about/policies-and-governance/

 

About Respect Group Inc.

Respect Group (respectgroupinc.com) was incorporated on April 5th, 2004 by co-founders, Sheldon Kennedy and Wayne McNeil, to pursue their common passion: the prevention of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Respect Group is made up of a team of over 30 talented individuals whose passion is to create a global culture of Respect. As Canada’s leading on-line provider of prevention education related to BAHD, Respect Group has certified over 1.2 million Canadians involved in sport, schools and the workplace. Respect Group is a Certified B Corporation (bcorporation.net).

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