Recipients of the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award

The Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award recognizes individuals who improve cross-cultural understanding and race relations within Correctional Service Canada (CSC). It honours those who have shown commitment and determination in helping to build an integrated society for all in Canada. Find out about the award's past recipients:

2023: Diderot Roc


Diderot Roc

Congratulations to Diderot Roc, a Correctional Officer from the Federal Training Centre (FTC) in Quebec Region, for receiving the 2022–2023 Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award!

Each year, the award is presented to a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) employee or community partner who has significantly contributed to the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity within CSC or the community.

Diderot’s commitment to multiculturalism, respect, diversity and inclusion is exemplified by his involvement with CSC’s Employment Equity and Diversity Committees (EEDCs) and FTC’s Social Committee. He has organized educational opportunities for staff, offenders and the community that promote cultural diversity (such as multicultural meals, quizzes and Black History Month celebrations), enhanced community involvement and partnerships, and championed initiatives to promote the successful reintegration of ethnocultural offenders (particularly Black offenders).

Thanks to his passion, energy and commitment, his efforts have reached far beyond the staff and offenders of the Quebec Region to have a positive impact on CSC as a whole and the community.

Diderot began his career with CSC in 1999 at the Martineau Community Correctional Centre in Montreal, Quebec and has also worked at Leclerc institution.

As president of FTC’s EEDC, he coordinated activities, such as Black History Month events, “Diversi-thé”, and “Dégustation multicultuelle”. He also organized annual workplace Haitian dinners entitled "Haïti vous invite" on Haiti's flag day (May 18).

Diderot has mentored and provided support to ethnocultural offenders, which assisted them along their correctional paths. In addition, he has acted as a translator for offenders who only spoke Spanish or Creole, which helped facilitate the delivery of services.

He remains open to discovering other cultures. Conducting a humanitarian escort in Quebec's Far North provided Diderot with a better understanding of Inuit culture and the needs of the community. Since, many Inuit offenders have asked him for help with their correctional plans and craft needs.

Diderot has also volunteered with several community cultural organizations, contributing to the social reintegration of ethnocultural offenders.

Throughout his career, Diderot has encouraged visible minority colleagues to become actively involved in the workplace, and to encourage their close family and friends to apply for positions within CSC. His initiative, management style and ability to resolve complex situations, make him a seasoned and exemplary leader, as well as a role model. Diderot is coming to the end of a rewarding career during which the promotion of multiculturalism has been an omnipresent theme, both in his words and actions.

2022: Jude Clyke

Congratulations to Jude Clyke from the Communications and Engagement Sector, for receiving the 2021 to 2022 Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award!

Each year, the award is presented to a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) employee or community partner who has significantly contributed to the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity within CSC or the community. It honours those who show commitment and determination in helping to build an integrated society for all in Canada.

Jude Clyke went above and beyond in his role as project lead for the Planning, Official Languages and Employment Equity team in the Human Resource Management Sector at National Headquarters, to foster support and resources for staff, offenders and his community. His commitment to building a diverse and inclusive environment within CSC and in the community has resulted in his being selected as the 2021 to 2022 recipient of the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award.

Jude's substantive position is parole officer at the Truro Area Parole Office in Nova Scotia. He began his career with CSC in 2000 as a correctional officer at Springhill Institution, and has worked at the institutional level in various positions.

His commitment to multiculturalism is clearly demonstrated through his ongoing dedication to respect, diversity, and inclusion, his work with CSC's Black Employee Network (BEN), his efforts in championing initiatives that support the successful reintegration of ethnocultural offenders (specifically Black offenders), and elevating members of his community, particularly youth.

Jude has been called a "beacon" for diversity and inclusion in his workplace and community in the Atlantic Region, and is fondly referred to as "the heartbeat" of CSC's Black Employee Network (BEN), which he was instrumental in developing. One of the goals of the BEN is to provide a safe space for Black employees to discuss critical issues, voice their concerns, celebrate successes, and advocate for changes within CSC.

Jude also suggested that Black employees connect through Black literature and established the BEN book club. In addition, he has organized various BEN events of which a meeting with the Commissioner and a discussion with renowned Canadian author, Lawrence Hill, were highlights. Both of these events helped to create new momentum for diversity and inclusion and brought awareness to the situation of African-Canadians.

In 2010, Jude was involved in assisting and developing the Youth Skills Link Program for offenders. This initiative partnered with the Community Enhancement Association and Service Canada to provide employment skills and experience to assist offenders find jobs or return to school. He worked tirelessly to help secure work releases and halfway house residency for some participants and was involved with their supervision during release. The program was a success and, currently, the second group of participants is benefiting from this initiative.

In addition, Jude established a young men's group in Truro's African community called "Community Strong". This group provided these young men with professional role models, pairing them with RCMP and CSC Correctional Officers from the community, as mentors. The group worked on a number of initiatives, such as seniors' events, completing odd jobs for seniors, end of school year celebrations for students, and health fairs.

Jude is recognized for his generosity, giving his time, talents, and positive influence. Congratulations Jude! Thank you for your commitment, advocacy, and dedication.

2021: Heather Finn

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is fortunate to have so many dedicated and hardworking employees. One of such employees, Heather Finn, went above and beyond in her previous role as Parole Officer Supervisor (she is now acting as Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions) to foster a supportive environment for offenders and staff in the Atlantic Region. Her commitment to building an inclusive environment for all has resulted in her being selected as the 2020 to 2021 recipient of the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award.

Every year, the award is presented to an employee or community partner who has significantly contributed to the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity within CSC or the community. Heather has clearly demonstrated her drive to improve services and interventions for ethnocultural offenders and she has had a positive impact on the environment in which she works and lives. Her efforts have certainly had an effect in the area of reintegration and cultural competency within the organization as a whole.

Heather has been an advocate, supporter and champion of initiatives that directly impact the successful reintegration of ethnocultural offenders for over 14 years. In addition to her being the catalyst in establishing the Atlantic Region’s Committee for Black Offender Reintegration alongside colleagues Jude Clyke and Ed Muise, she was instrumental in volunteering to provide training to parole officers in 2017, based on her Master of Social Work research. Her continued advocacy for staff developmental opportunities resulted in additional training for all parole officers as part of the annual mandatory National Training Standards in 2018. This included the development of materials and curriculum. This committee received national attention within the organization and its efforts were highlighted in CSC’s 2017 to 2018 Departmental Results Report.

Heather was also part of the development of another 2019 to 2020 Parole Officer Continuous Development (POCD) training that was delivered to parole officers and members of the Parole Board of Canada. All trainings were designed to assist parole officers to incorporate culturally relevant information into assessment and decision-making. Heather currently sits on the Regional Ethnocultural Reintegration Committee (RERC), the Regional Indigenous Reintegration Committee (RIRC) and is a member of the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee (EEDC).

In addition, Heather participated in a successful initiative between CSC and the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services. This initiative involved the delivery of Parole Officer Induction Training (POIT), the development of an Offender Risk Assessment Tool, the delivery of the Integrated Correctional Program Model, and the development of a basic Offender Management System. In 2020, Heather worked with the Saint Lucia Department of Probation and Parole, which resulted in two offenders being granted parole in the country’s first ever parole hearings. Heather is currently working to virtually deliver the POIT to Saint Lucia Parole Officers and members of the Parole Board in the coming months.

Heather’s dedication to enhancing staff and community stakeholders’ understanding of African Canadian offenders and CSC’s outcomes related to ethnocultural offenders is remarkable. She is motivated by her strong commitment to social justice whereby she recognizes the importance of addressing factors that may impact vulnerable groups in Canada’s correctional system. Her actions speak volumes on her desire to bring about positive change for this segment of CSC’s offender population.

Her passion and energy is evident in her vision and hard work. Congratulations Heather!

2020: Cecilia Rossander

CSC is fortunate to have so many focused and hard-working employees. One of such employees, Cecilia Rossander, has gone above and beyond in her role as a social program officer to foster a supportive and welcoming environment for offenders and staff at William Head Institution (WHI) for the past seven years. Her commitment and dedication to building an inclusive environment for all has resulted in her being selected as the 2019 to 2020 recipient of the Emerson Douyon Multiculturalism Award.

Every year, the award is presented to an employee or community partner who has significantly contributed to the promotion of multiculturalism and diversity within CSC or the community.

Cecilia is described as "a source of light and inspiration in the area of ethnocultural educational efforts" at WHI. She has demonstrated tremendous energy, passion, and commitment in bringing relevant and engaging ethnocultural activities and educational opportunities to both offenders and staff. Notably, she has organized inclusive cultural fairs, festivals, and workshops, which have produced fruitful relationships with community stakeholders that provide mental health and employment supports for newly released ethnocultural offenders. These events have provided staff members, offenders, and community partners with the opportunity to share and learn best practices on how to promote, support, and advocate for strong ethnocultural policies and activities within a correctional environment.

Cecilia enjoys a strong relationship with the ethnocultural offenders and is a trusted advocate for services that assist them to reintegrate into the community. Her dedication and energy is evident in her vision and hard work, which serves as the foundation for the effective ethnocultural services offered at WHI.

Congratulations Cecilia!

2019: Jill Esson

Learning about diversity is more than a job for Mrs. Jill Esson, it's a passion! Working at CSC has helped her turn that passion into a lifelong job.

It's been ten years since she started working at CSC and since that time, Jill has worked as a:

She also acted as the EEDC national manager for four months.

During her career, she has made a significant contribution to helping people around her understand the beliefs and values of other cultures and ethnic groups. She established an EEDC at every site in the Atlantic region. She also developed a partnership with Mount Allison University where she gave presentations on diversity to students and offered them the opportunity to volunteer at our events. Jill has also organized:

Jill's work with the EEDC has helped make a significant change in the Atlantic Region. Her hard work and enthusiasm helped increase participation for EEDC events by 128%. Not only are more people attending EEDC events, they are getting involved. The local EEDCs have gained 56 new members.

Her goal while working for CSC is to reach frontline staff and management with respect to understanding their roles in creating a more inclusive workplace, by asking the difficult questions and opening up the conversations about stereotypes. This, in turn, will support our ethnocultural and Indigenous offender population by increasing our collective understanding of their cultural needs.

Jill never stops doing what she loves. When she is not working, she spends time on her other passion, theatre arts, volunteering with local theatre groups in the Moncton area. She also loves doing crafts, spending time in nature and with her family.

Congratulations Jill!

2018: Donna Myskiw

Mrs. Donna Myskiw has worked for CSC for 22 years and has been in the Public Service for 27 years.

Mrs. Myskiw worked as a social program officer at Stony Mountain Institution in the Prairie region for the last five years. She was also the ethnocultural coordinator at medium and minimum security institutions. In this role, she worked with the offenders to arrange for dancers from different ethnic groups to showcase their talents at Stony Mountain Institution, such as:

She also ensures that Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month and Chinese New Year are celebrated by organizing various activities such as:

Donna leads a monthly ethnocultural group that continues to build their knowledge about various cultural groups and beliefs. She brought yoga and mediation workshops to Stony Mountain Institution in collaboration with the Art of Living Prison SMART Program. This was the first federal institution in Canada to facilitate this program.

Throughout her years with CSC, Donna has been actively working to ensure that offenders have a greater appreciation of diversity and continues to find opportunities and initiatives to educate offenders in various cultures.

As an avid gardener, Donna lives on her farm with her family where she can perfect her landscaping techniques. Although her retirement is just around the corner, Donna has taken on a new challenge and accepted an acting position as Indigenous program officer at Stony Mountain Institution.

Congratulations Donna!

2017: Maxime Sanou

Maxime Sanou is Québécois of Haitian origin. Since he came to CSC, Maxime has been a shining example of integration for employees from ethnocultural communities.

He started as a CX-01 correctional officer at Donnacona Institution and demonstrated a strong ability to adapt in a new and unique environment. He has always maintained an exceptional degree of professionalism, and is always highly motivated to accomplish the tasks assigned to him. He is now a great source of inspiration for employees and offenders from ethnocultural communities.

When he was asked to become an official member of the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee (EEDC), he immediately became directly involved in a number of important activities promoting CSC and public service values.

Every year he offers free basketball clinics in high schools to students who have difficulties related to:

He helped organize an activity to break ground on a new basketball court for young residents of low-income housing. Most of these young people were from ethnocultural communities. This event was part of an initiative carried out by the Quebec City police force to connect with ethnocultural communities in the Quebec City area.

He invited six disadvantaged youth from various ethnocultural communities to attend a boxing match to raise money for ten charitable organizations in the Quebec City area. The event raised $11,500. Through the event, the youth learned about:

He started his own non-profit organization (Parrain VIP) to help young athletes in need. This initiative has provided two disadvantaged athletes with the opportunity to participate in development camps that enabled them to acquire new skills in their sport. He has also acted as a mentor for these athletes to teach them about good values.

Although he has a very full family and social life, Maxime continues to find ways to demonstrate his commitment to promoting multiculturalism in his daily activities as a level 1 correctional officer and in his community, where his involvement is greatly appreciated.

2016: Odette Duranleau

Ms. Duranleau has a bachelor's degree in sexology and a master's degree in criminology. She has worked for CSC for nearly 28 years, starting as a parole officer (PO), and quickly moving into supervisory positions. A supervisor for more than 21 years, she has extensive experience in management of:

She was the first deputy warden in the history of Donnacona Institution and, until very recently, she held the position of Quebec area director for more than four years. She recently joined the Incident Investigations Branch as a national investigator.

The issue of employment equity has always been important to her. She therefore volunteered to chair the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee at Donnacona Institution and the Quebec East-West District, and she held this position for eight years. Ms. Duranleau has always carried out all duties related to her position, but she has also found time to organize outings to promote multiculturalism, such as visiting places of worship in the city of Québec, when 45 employees had the opportunity to tour a synagogue, a mosque and a Buddhist temple and to talk to leaders from each one about their religious beliefs and practices.

In her pursuit to learn a third language, Ms. Duranleau is enthusiastic about world travel and eager to expand her horizons. She has a keen interest in and especially enjoys talking to people from different cultures and with various profiles.

2015: Mohamed Ait Lahcen

Mohamed, a parole officer at Donnacona, has promoted multiculturalism among his colleagues, clients, volunteers and community throughout his career with CSC.

He was the ethnocultural site coordinator for ethnocultural offenders and a member of the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, which promotes inclusiveness and respect for diversity among staff members. He delivers college-level training to future correctional officers in the Quebec region on social diversity and intervention use in correctional settings.

Mohamed develops partnerships between the cultural communities and CSC to identify and resolve issues affecting ethnocultural offenders. He has organized many ethnocultural-type activities with clients as well as a variety of conferences and awareness sessions for employees.

He produced a corporate DVD entitled Beyond the Fence to inform the community about the social reintegration services offered to inmates at Donnacona Institution.

2013: Doug Daniels

Doug, a parole officer at Warkworth Institution, has promoted cultural awareness and diversity both within CSC and the community, throughout his 29 year career with CSC.

As a member of CSC's Advisory Committee on Racial Harmony, Doug was a key player in helping guide the committee's work: promoting equity and diversity. He also served on other groups with a goal to:

Today, as a member of the Warkworth Institution's Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, he remains dedicated to the site's employment equity plan while working towards improving CSC's ability to address and remove barriers to fair access.

Doug has organized workshops and training sessions to educate and encourage inter-cultural understanding among:

Doug has also worked with staff to help ensure the successful return of offenders with various cultural needs to the community. His dedication continues through his volunteering with many organizations that work to shape a more inclusive and respectful society.

2012: Hamza Al-Baghdadi

Commissioner Don Head and Hamza Al-Baghdadi

Al-Baghdadi has demonstrated his commitment to multiculturalism through his daily duties as a community parole officer. His contribution in promoting initiatives that support CSC in the successful reintegration of ethnocultural offenders has helped to engage discussion on multiculturalism and diversity within CSC.

Mr. Al-Baghdadi's passion has not only assisted in the reintegration of ethnic minority offenders, but has also promoted multicultural understanding and awareness, both within CSC and the public. He understands the challenges endured by ethnocultural offenders and has been able to use his background as a visible minority to relate to, and seek solutions for, the cultural and religious needs and concerns faced by this group.

Having worked as a community parole officer in two of Canada's highly diverse metropolises, Toronto and Ottawa, Mr. Al-Baghdadi has endeavoured to expand his knowledge of different cultures and gain a deeper understanding of the impact that cultural and language barriers can have on community supervision. His exemplary approach to helping CSC fulfil its public safety mandate in the past year has also included the reaching out to ethnocultural communities and the writing of articles aimed at cultivating understanding between cultures.

Mr. Al-Baghdadi has worked actively to ensure that CSC has a greater appreciation for diversity, not only within the organization but also in society at large. Hamza is recognized for encouraging ethnic harmony between:

Thereby contributing to our public safety mandate.

2011: Dave Varis

Commissioner Don Head and Dave Varis

Dave Varis, of the Addictions Research Centre, dedicates his career and life to raising awareness of Indigenous cultures. He has significantly improved cross-cultural understanding and race relations between CSC and key Indigenous non-governmental organizations, and among his colleagues. Dave was born and raised in Manitoba and is very proud of his dual ancestry:

One of his most significant contributions to cultural awareness has been his leadership in the development and implementation of the high and moderate intensity Indigenous Offenders Substance Abuse Program.

Through these programs, Dave has raised awareness of Indigenous issues surrounding addiction and the importance of culturally-specific forms of intervention. His efforts have also resulted in a lasting relationship between CSC and Indigenous organizations such as:

Dave has shared the personal importance of his Indigenous heritage, the values he has learned and, in the process, solidified relationships with the Indigenous community. He has rightfully earned his designation as the Indigenous Champion of the research branch and therefore deserves the multiculturalism award for his promotion of Indigenous culture and values.

2011: Ronnie Gill

Commissioner Don Head and Ronnie Gill

As a former regional manager of ethnocultural services, Ronnie Gill has had a significant impact on the Pacific Region. She has made contributions towards enhancing the importance of cultural identities and being a voice to create recognition of this initiative within CSC. Her work provides a message of inclusiveness with the importance of understanding the unique cultural differences of staff and inmates. In the last year, Ms. Gill has spoken at various community and senior management meetings with the purpose of:

Through her work on these issues, she has attracted and involved individuals with similar visions and has the ability to motivate people to make a difference. The work of creating an inclusive organization is driven by her passion and the Pacific Region has seen the positive effects since she got involved. She was able to provide the support and direction to the new members of the regional Employment Equity and Diversity Committee and has worked actively to ensure that the organization has a greater appreciation for a diverse workforce.

2010: Dr. Emerson Douyon

Commissioner Don Head and Dr. Emerson Douyon

Dr. Emerson Douyon was a psychologist and retired professor in the Faculty of Criminology at the Université de Montréal and chaired the national and regional ethnocultural advisory committees (NEAC/REAC) for more than a decade. During that time, he led these two committees to help advance programs for culturally diverse offender populations. He also helped the Quebec region organize and co-ordinate activities for offenders from ethnocultural minorities. Dr. Douyon often advised the regional deputy commissioner on programs and services for ethnocultural offenders in the Quebec region. He raised awareness of multiculturalism issues among offenders and staff. He helped make CSC aware of the special needs of ethnocultural offenders and increased understanding of cultural diversity.

Dr. Douyon retired in 2011, but he agreed to pass on his corporate memory in a book he volunteered to write for CSC. He completed his research and wrote his book in 2016:

Dr. Douyon passed away in 2016.

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