YMCAs of Québec 2018 Peace Medals

Sophie Brochu, Sheila Twinkle Rudberg and four exceptional organizations are awarded Peace Medals

Montreal, October 10, 2018 –Today, the prestigious Peace Medals are being awarded to individuals and organizations who have contributed to making Québec a more peaceful place to live. The honours were awarded at a gala dinner presented by Desjardins and bringing together 500 guests at the Port of Montreal's Grand Quay. Hosted by Isabelle Racicot, the evening paid tribute to the following winners:

Honorary Laureate – Sophie Brochu

President and CEO of Énergir, Sophie Brochu is known for her commitment to young people. In addition to being actively involved with Centraide of Greater Montreal, she chairs the Board of Directors of the Fondation Forces AVENIR, an organization that promotes and celebrates student engagement in the community. She is also co-founder of Ruelle de l’avenir, a project aimed at encouraging students in the Centre-Sud and Hochelaga neighbourhoods of Montréal to remain in school.

Youth Peacemaker – Empreintes youth committee, Rive-Nord high school

Created by students from Rive-Nord high school, the Empreintes project helped to create a more inclusive and respectful school culture. The students conducted three awareness campaigns:

- #OnEstTousRive-Nord to reduce tensions and intimidation between the different programs of the school;

- Pourquoi un Mois de l’histoire des Noirs au Québec drew attention to the importance and raison d'être of Black History Month in Québec;

- No to "Blackface" raised staff and student awareness of the effects of cultural reappropriation.

Individual for Peace – Sheila Twinkle Rudberg

Ms. Sheila "Twinkle" Rudberg's journey of peace began in 1993, following the murder of her husband by a teenager. Her deeply held belief that the violent adolescent was himself a victim of abuse gave rise to LOVE Québec. Through both in-school and after-school programs, LOVE Québec's mission is to end the cycle of violence in young people's lives while inspiring them to become prevention leaders in their communities.

Organization for Peace – La maison de la Syrie

La maison de la Syrie is a multiform organisation (web, events, meetings, workshops and a festival) intended to unite Syrians around a shared cultural heritage and welcome people of all origins who are eager to discover it. La maison de la Syrie's objectives include building meaningful ties between the diverse cultures of Syria and Québec, opening the doors on Syria's rich material and intangible heritage, proposing innovative self-help solutions, propelling Québec creators, artisans and artists of Syrian-descent onto the local scene, all while acting as a reminder that Syrian war refugees are, first and foremost, human beings.

Corporative Peace Initiative – TELUS

TELUS Wise is a free educational program designed to keep Canadians safe in a digital world. This program includes interactive and informative workshops and resources to help youth, adults and seniors become exemplary digital citizens.

Coup de cœur – La Coalition féministe contre la violence envers les femmes (CFVF)

Founded in 2018, the Coalition féministe contre la violence envers les femmes aligns itself with the #MeToo movement. It unites fifteen organizations that fight violence against women or help women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. The coalition's goal is to bring violence against women into the centre of our society's concerns. The coalition advocates for justice that is better adapted to all women.

"As a society, we need to celebrate a sense of belonging, empathy and pluralism. At the YMCA, we believe in creating communities where everyone has a place. We are so grateful to all those who join us in establishing communities where everyone can be themselves and reach their full potential so that Québec remains a safe and welcoming place for present and future generations," expressed Stéphane Vaillancourt, President and CEO of the YMCAs of Québec, during the evening's festivities.

"Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of the 2018 YMCA Peace Medals. Through their passion and vision, they provide support and hope to thousands of young people, here and abroad. Their remarkable projects are proof of the strength of working together and collaborating to build a more just and inclusive society. We can rejoice in the success of the 31st edition of this beautiful evening which shows how our communities are animated by a strong spirit of mutual aid," affirms the president of the Foundation of the YMCAs of Québec, Gregory Chrispin, Executive Vice-President, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, Desjardins.

The funds raised during the gala dinner help youth in the YMCA TeenZones and its school perseverance programs to succeed in school and in life.

Follow us on Twitter @YMCAQuebec and join the conversation #YMCApaix

Ready to tweet:
The @YMCAQuebec will reveal the names of the 2018 Peace Medal winners tonight. Follow the conversation. #YMCApaix

Nathalie Viora, Les YMCA du Québec

Diane Jeannotte
514 772-8019 dianej@djcom.ca
Diep Truong
514 436-2121 diep@exergue.ca

About the YMCAs of Québec
The YMCAs of Québec is a charitable organization whose mission is to build stronger communities by providing opportunities for growth as well as an active, healthy and committed life for all. Its ten YMCA centres, International Language School, Residence, Camp YMCA Kanawana and 36 points of service across the province are visited by more than 120,000 people each year. The first YMCA in North America was created in Montréal in November 1851. The YMCAs of Québec are part of a Canadian network of 48 YMCAs. For more information, visit our website https://www.ymcaquebec.org, our Facebook page, facebook.com/ymcaquebec, or connect with us on Twitter, twitter.com/YMCAquebec.

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