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July 4, 2012

Empathy VisitOn July 3, a motivated pair of high school students visited the Mount to learn more about how Mount faculty, staff and students are working together to understand and combat bullying.

The two Halifax-area high school students were part of a winning team from this year’s Accelerating Empathy conference. The conference brought together high school student leaders from across Nova Scotia to address some of the most pressing issues facing students in the province – bullying, learning disabilities, and obesity, among others – in order to seek collaborative, peer-based solutions. The Mount acted as a partner in this year’s conference.

Sandrico Provo and Brandon MacDougall were part of a team called Scotia Circle, tasked with addressing the issue of bullying in schools. Their winning pitch to the conference jury incorporated the values of restorative justice and spoken word events to create safe spaces for victims of bullying to speak out.

(Above photo (L-R): Sandrico Provo, Dr. Ramona Lumpkin and Brandom MacDougall)

As part of their prize package, the students met with Mount faculty in the Education, Child and Youth Study, and Sociology and Anthropology departments to better understand Mount research and coursework in this field, and to discuss their plans to introduce anti-bullying programs into schools. The winning team was greeted by President Ramona Lumpkin, and also met with Mount leaders to discuss the Mount’s involvement in anti-bullying programs and on-campus resources offered to students.

Brandon MacDougall was thankful for the opportunity to visit the Mount.  “Everyone was very supportive”, he said. “We were given a lot of great resources and I feel like I have a lot more confidence in our ideas.”

The Accelerating Empathy Conference was sponsored by local non-profit organization The Empathy Factory.