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Media Releases

Community leader to be recognized with Campy Crawford Award

April 11, 2016

Serena Matheson- local schoolteacher, social justice advocate and community leader, will be honored during the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination celebrations on Tuesday, when she receives the 12th Annual Carl Anthony “Campy” Crawford Award.

Serena Matheson was born in Glace Bay, NS and moved to Westmount, NS when she was in junior high school. She began her teaching career in North Carolina, but moved home in 2005 to teach with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board (CBVRSB).

Serena is extremely passionate about equality, as evidenced by her work as a lead team member for the Race Relations, Cross-Cultural Understanding, and Human Rights committee for the CBVRSB, her work as Chair and Co-chair of Pride Cape Breton Society, and her commitment to the creation of positive spaces for all youth and adults here in Cape Breton.

She actively promotes youth leadership through her work with Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and Kiwanis K-Kids, and since 2011 has organized a yearly GSA Youth Leadership Conference for all students and educators across Cape Breton.

In addition to her extensive teaching background, Serena also has a Master’s in Education in Administration and Leadership, and this year, Serena is a member of the first cohort for the Aspiring Leaders Program for Educators.

In the past, Serena has coached high school basketball and is currently one of the many coaches for her two daughters’ smallball teams. She has played women’s softball in Sydney and Glace Bay, where she has been named both MVP and Sportswoman of the Year.

“Serena Matheson is someone who has dedicated her life to leading and creating positive change in the community, and has enhanced the lives of thousands of Cape Bretoners” said Cape Breton Regional Police Chief Peter McIsaac. “It is a true pleasure to present this award to someone so deserving, as she demonstrates the core values Campy instilled in policing, and throughout the Cape Breton community.”

Established by the CBRPS in honour and memory of “Campy” after his passing in 2003, the award is presented annually to a recipient who exemplifies leadership and commitment to justice, fairness, volunteerism, sportsmanship and equality in the community, as selected by a committee with representation from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Multicultural and Diversity Office Cape Breton University, the CBRM Diversity Office and the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. A longtime resident of Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia, “Campy” was well-known and respected by the community. He exemplified fair play and teamwork, and was a role model to many, always mindful of fairness, equality and a commitment to justice. “Campy” joined the Sydney Police Service in 1964, becoming the first black municipal police officer in Nova Scotia and east of Montreal.

The 2016 Campy Crawford Award presentation will take place at the 16th Annual Harmony Luncheon, hosted by the Multicultural and Diversity Office Cape Breton University, CBRM Diversity Office, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the Cape Breton Regional Police Service at the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment – Tuesday, April 12th at 11:30 AM.