East Newton resident Gurinder Mann has received a prestigious Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award from the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
The executive director of CERA, or Communities Embracing Restorative Action, won the Restorative Justice Memorial Award.
“It means a tremendous amount,” Mann told the Now-Leader. “I’ve been involved in restorative justice for many, many years and I’m absolutely delighted that my colleagues in this field feel that I’m deserving enough of this reward, and to receive this from the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General means a tremendous amount to me.”
Involved in restorative justice since he was a teenager, Mann started off volunteering as a facilitator at CERA, became a board member and worked his way up to the position of executive director in 2010.
“The values of restorative justice have always appealed to me, always resonated with me. As far back as I remember, even as a teenager, the concept of restorative justice, the idea of communication, effective dialogue, just always resonated with me and the concepts and principles just continued to further appeal to me when I began to do my undergraduate education at UBC. The older and older I got, the more and more involved I got in restorative justice because I saw it as being a very effective and an efficient way, or an efficient alternative, to the traditional criminal justice system.”
Mann did his undergraduate degree in psychology and also has a masters degree in applied legal studies.
The 23rd annual Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards ceremony was held virtually and acknowledge people, non-profit organizations, police and other local partners for their work to advance crime prevention, restorative justice and other approaches designed to keep communities safer.
Mike Farnworth, B.C.’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, said the award winners and nominees “demonstrate that we can make a real difference in the lives of those who have been impacted by crime, violence and victimization.”
Awards were also presented to Lianne Ritch, of Vancouver, Dede Dacyk, of Penticton, the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, Sandra Bryce, of Victoria, and Baljinder Kandola of Richmond.