In his eight-year NHL career, Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams. 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.
He 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 U.S. Senate.
Sheldon is the Lead Director at the Sheldon Kennedy 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.
Sandi Curtis, MT-BC, MTA, is an internationally-trained music therapist with more than 30 years’ experience in clinical practice, education, and research who specializes in work with adult and child survivors of abuse. Her research and practice is focused both on helping survivors recover and on bringing about social change to eliminate the violence.
Recipient of a 2006 Social Justice Person Award, Dr. Curtis has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and scholarly textbooks, with her most recent work in progress being Music for Women Survivors of Violence: A Feminist Music Therapy Interactive eBook (Barcelona Publishers).
She is a Research Member of the Arts in Health Research Collective (AHRC), a Fellow in the Simone de Beauvoir institute, and a Research Member of PERFORM Centre. She is co-investigator in a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities (SSHRC) Partnership research grant exploring “Rape Culture on Campus & the Role & Influence of Arts/Pop Culture.”