respect. Awards

Creating a respectful community is everyone’s responsibility.

Diversity Thunder Bay proudly sponsors the

respect. Awards

The 12th annual respect. Award recipients were announced during Diversity Thunder Bay’s Annual event, marking the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Two respect. Awards are presented annually, one for an individual and one for a local organization or business.

Mary Kozorys received a respect. award for her work as a community volunteer and program coordinator for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario where she helps bridge gaps for women and gender diverse people in conflict with the law. As a fierce advocate, Mary’s dedication to respect. means honouring people where they are at and recognizing the value in human dignity. She’s helped countless women and gender diverse people chart healthier, safer paths forward in our community and region.

Since 2010, The Walleye, Thunder Bay’s art and cultural alternative magazine, has offered readers a window into the talented people and inspiring places that define our city. With an eye for diversity and inclusion, the Walleye features artists, musicians, and influencers, along with thoughtful social and environmental commentary, that help promote pride of place and acceptance in our community.

“We are so pleased to honour two very deserving recipients with this year’s respect. Award for their empowerment of others, and by leading with compassion, dedication and respect,” said Diane Walker, Chair of the Community Safety & Well-Being Advisory Committee. “Congratulations to Mary Kozorys and The Walleye for their important contributions towards fostering compassion, dignity, equity and inclusion, and for their service to our community.”




The 11th Annual respect. Awards recognized Carolyn Karle and Roots Community Food Centre for their leadership and efforts towards making our community a more understanding and inclusive place to live for everyone.



The tenth annual respect. Award recipients were:

Barbara Cooper, who works in Health Records at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre was nominated for her caring and compassionate approach to her work. She recognizes the importance of human dignity and exemplifies respect in her interactions with co-workers and clients.


Elevate NWO was recognized as it staged an intervention to support individuals who were sleeping unsheltered in local encampments. Finding appropriate housing and supports, the group’s approach prioritized compassion, dignity and respect. Individuals involved in the program are being supported to work as house leaders in the housing units, and as community support workers at Elevate’s warming centre. The program participants are gaining valuable employment skills that will help them secure permanent housing.


Theresa, a well-respected Elder of Fort William First Nation, has dedicated her life to helping families in her home community. She is a respected leader who supports all walks of the life cycle, young to elderly. She believes that culture will heal her people and as such, she has spearheaded numerous initiatives to teach and share the sacred teachings far and wide. She has hosted workshops and events that empower youth to get involved in their culture, as well as to get active. Theresa organized baseball and hockey games in her community, all the while ensuring everyone receives equipment to play. Through her ongoing work, she continues to find opportunities to improve the health, safety and well-being of children, youth and families in and around the community.


Bay Village Coffee, owned and operated by Gary Mack and Alan Forbes, provides a safe and inclusive place for everyone to “espresso” themselves. While being a fairly young business in Thunder Bay, Bay Village Coffee recognized early on the importance of giving back, and as such, they’ve lead successful fundraisers for children, cardiovascular health, and equality and human rights. They employ students and youth, providing opportunities for young people to gain valuable skills as they grow in the community.




For all previous respect. Award winners, please visit Respect – City of Thunder Bay