MACAHONIC WINS PROVINCIAL AWARD
Working to support victims of violence
BC GOV'T CAUCUS—VOICE FILE PHOTO
inner of the Award of Distinction for her more than three decades of work reducing crime, enhancing community safety and supporting victims of crime and violence, Patti MacAhonic is the executive director of Ann Davis Transition Society.
She has set up temporary shelter housing for more than 135 women this year, along with opening a permanent specialized transition house. She has been active in raising awareness for domestic violence, women’s homelessness, women’s equality and prevention work and has lobbied for legislative change for survivors and their children.
A word from Patti MacAhonic:
am so honoured to be here today and want to thank my nominator Shelley Bolan, my team at Ann Davis Transition Society, and my children including my daughter Melodie who is here today and works as an outreach worker helping our most vulnerable.
I had the opportunity to attend the Round Table Dialogue with the Dalai Lama many years ago through the submission of a poem I wrote about what True education of the heart and mind is that I would like to share with you today.
True education of the heart: great hardship and sorrow. Education of the mind: when one becomes mindful that experiencing hardship and sorrow is the education.
This realization is when balance is attained, the human task is to never forget this and work continuously on this balance.
When we have great trauma and hardship and don't have the ability to see that this is the education, it can lead to crime and dissonance in our social fabric, not just to individuals, but to our society as a whole.
It has been a long and winding road for me to get to where I am today. I remember driving down the highway on my way to speak at a National Day of Mourning event, although I had written some words to say - I wasn't sure of how to start when a folk song came over the radio that I'd never heard and haven't heard since, the words sung were: "When I get to the end of the road — I just keep on walking".
That in a nutshell is my life and how I have worked and continue to work to make change.
Through many challenges in life, including growing up in foster care and group homes, being widowed young with 3 children, losing my family home and having to start over again, I've felt many times that I have reached the end of the road, been told many times that you can't do this or that, but I have just kept on walking, challenging the status quo, pushing for social justice, human rights and the rights of our planet.
I believe with all of my heart that we are interconnected with each other and the earth and when we become disconnected with what we call the "othering" of people that may be different than us and become disconnected from the earth.
What happens is that it creates the conditions for violence and crime to grow and flourish.
I encourage all of us here today to be mindful of each other, and our earth, and to look past the differences and know that we are all here to learn that when you or someone you know thinks that they're at the end of road, remember that there is no end of the road, we just break new trails and keep on walking.