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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 Experience

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

Podcast with Sheldon Kennedy – Beyond the Checkbox

Podcast with Sheldon Kennedy – Beyond the Checkbox

This podcast features a powerful conversation between Dr. Ryan Todd and Sheldon Kennedy. Thank you to Headversity for this great opportunity! Click here to watch it:

“Sheldon Kennedy is a former NHL player and has led numerous initiatives that have advocated for children and victims of abuse. Most recently he’s founded the Respect Group, which has certified over 1.3 Million people in workplaces across Canada in bullying, harassment, and discrimination training. On this episode, Sheldon shares his remarkable story as an abuse victim and how these experiences have shaped his life, including the revelation where he discovered he was responsible for his mental health.” -Dr. Ryan Todd

2020 Sport for life Canadian Summit – Stories Of Success Panel

2020 Sport for life Canadian Summit – Stories Of Success Panel

Creating Belonging through Considering Intersectionality

Written by Andrea Carey, CCIP and Founder of INclusion INcorporated

We want to begin by acknowledging the generosity of the three panelists who shared their stories to
spark this discussion – Joy Spearchief-Morris, Cindy Ouellet, and Zoe Robinson. We also want to pay
tribute to the Re-Creation Collective who is a group of academics and practitioners who are reimagining
sport from the margins. Thank you to Respect Group Inc. for their generous support of this session and
their commitment to creating safe spaces.

Intersectionality has become a term used often in the diversity and inclusion space. It is often used in a
way to articulate the overlapping facets of diversity – which is part of the story, but there are a variety of
opportunities to appreciate the power of the term that was first coined by Black feminist Kimberlé
Crenshaw.

Intersectionality is defined as the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and
gender as they apply to a given individual or group, creating overlapping and interdependent systems of
discrimination or disadvantage. They do not exist separately from each other but are interwoven and
linked together. It is meant to articulate the overlapping systems of oppression that are faced by those
who are in marginalized positions – either by social determinants of health, geography or facets of their
identities.

I recently had the opportunity to showcase a panel of incredible women who have diverse intersections
in how they identify. A Paralympian in winter and summer sport who is a PhD candidate, a
businesswoman and gay. A Black Indigenous Master’s degree student who is a high-performance
athletics athlete aiming for a spot in this summer’s Olympics. A trans woman who is a former CEO of a
National Sport Organization and is navigating the world as a woman after 54 years living as a man.
This group of strong, successful women joined me to share their stories of success and to share what
they need to find success in new situations. The theme was to create people and participant-centered
approaches. We focused on how to support people to have positive experiences in the spaces and
places where they are.

We offered up six principles of creating success in participant/people-centered approaches and we
solicited input from the audience to share how they would live these in their organization. Here is what
the group of over 400 sport, recreation, education and health leaders came up with:
Inclusion would be lived by always having a growth mindset. We agreed that inclusion starts with the
people you are trying to serve, so there must be a focus on hiring the community you serve.
Organizations should be open to policy development and implementation.
Respect would be lived by understanding that everyone is on a unique journey and embedding in the
team culture for all to follow. Respect should be included as one of the organization’s values. Every
human being deserves to be respected.

Right to Privacy would be lived by asking permission to share (opt-in or opt-out) and provide options for
level of sharing (what are you sharing), to who and how. This should not be in the small print! There
should be options to limit information on the website for registration to keep it protected.

Private information of members shouldn’t be shared when communicating with other departments of Regions/PSO/NSO.

Dignity would be lived by meeting the participants at the place they are at so they can engage in
different ways and levels, and by being the example and treating everyone equally with respect. Anyone
should be able to do the sport they want even if they have obstacles, and a clear and transparent
selection criteria and appeal processes need to be in place.

Openness would be lived by sharing our cultural experiences often at the office, including the
community in the process for designing, implementing and evaluating sports programs by giving them a
seat at the table.

Allyship would be lived by identifying ability, compassion, and heart by advocating and providing
support. We agreed to wait until you are invited in, and not to make promises. When it comes time to
act, don’t say you’ll do it, say when you’ll do it. We should create working groups and support
spokespersons from marginalized groups.

Compassion would be lived by leading by example.

Safe would be lived by applying for funding to create a safer physical space (ex. changerooms) in
infrastructure where all participants/officials/staff feel supported, welcomed and safe. Training should
be provided to key influencers, coaches, boards, volunteers and parents open conversations should be
hosted that set the tone that respect is expected. It’s important to co-create norms and expectations
that will be commonly understood by the entire group, and to train athletes, coaches, volunteers,
administrators; developing awareness within your sectors. Through opportunities to share our stories,
and to examine the different needs of the people in the spaces and places so that we can better plan to
support the many diverse people who will be part of our programs or who deserve to be included but
haven’t been planned for properly yet.

The opportunity of this dialogue to look at how leaders of the sport, recreation, health and education
organizations in Canada can be intentional about planning for the people, the participants who are at
the core of what we do in delivering sport and physical activity experiences. We can consider how these
eight principles could come to life in your organization, and to build that into how you operate going
forward.

Sheldon Kennedy statement on receiving the Order of Hockey In Canada 2020

Sheldon Kennedy statement on receiving the Order of Hockey In Canada 2020

“Upon reflection of receiving the Order of Hockey in Canada, I sincerely feel that this award represents far more than just “Sheldon” accomplishments. This recognition, is clearly for an amazing Team Effort.

First off, my good friend of 23 years and business partner, Wayne McNeil, deserves as much credit as I do for sharing, and delivering on, our common vision. For the 10’s of thousands of disclosure letters I have received since 1997, after my story broke, my gratitude to each of you for baring your souls and for your courage. Your words reminded me that this is not an isolated issue and kept me going!

Thank you to Hockey Canada for your leadership in making Speak Out mandatory in 1997 for all coaches. In my mind, a bold step and the REAL beginning of the Safe Sport Movement in Canada, and, perhaps the world! And to all of the proactive sport leaders who have taken their own bold steps to make RESPECT education a requirement. You have created a sport environment that values child protection as priority one. Not a button or a poster, but the real deal. Of course, there is more to be done and there always will be.

But let’s pause for a moment, accept this award together, and commit to continuing this unique collaboration to keep Canadian kids safe and respected while they enjoy the wonderment of sport!”

SHELDON KENNEDY

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