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Stephenville's Chantal Drake impressed with training at inclusive conference

Chantal Drake, centre, one of the participants in an Inclusive Communities Regional Conference, poses for a photo with facilitators Kevin Welbes Godin, left, and Martin Krajcik.
Chantal Drake, centre, one of the participants in an Inclusive Communities Regional Conference, poses for a photo with facilitators Kevin Welbes Godin, left, and Martin Krajcik. - Frank Gale

Chantal Drake is known for her involvement with Pride, but she was among many front line workers trying to learn more about working with people on Wednesday.

She was one of about 60 people who turned out for an Inclusive Communities Regional Conference which continues into today. The attendees were from many communities in western Newfoundland.

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Drake said these people ranged from those studying at schools, to working in the community, to others already working with clients.

Where Drake is on the Pride committee she was familiar with some of the material that was being taught but was really concerned about learning more about language.

“Because I work with adult offenders in a residential facility, I’m here to learn how to work with a client who is transgender,” she said.

Drake said she would like to know how she can better support her clients who may have diversity in their gender who are different from the “norm.”

She said she would fear putting a transgender client, identifying as male or female, in the general population in the facility where she works — West-Bridge House, a co co-ed community residential center for adult offenders on day parole, full parole, statutory release, a temporary release, or a probation order.

She said everyone at the conference works with people in the community.

“What we’re sure of is that humans are unique and diverse and, as front line workers, we’re all here to see how we can better support our clients in their diversity,” Drake said.

She said the facilitators for the conference (Kevin Welbes Godin and Martin Krajcik) were very entertaining, knowledgeable and willing to push the envelope a bit to open the minds of the participants.

The conference was sponsored by Violence Prevention Southwest (formerly known as Southwestern Coalition to End Violence) and is one of six events taking place during Pride Week in Stephenville.

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