SE01 E14 Justine Kennedy

Fighting for Families: Overcoming Adversity Through Purpose

Episode Summary

In this episode, 24-year-old Indigenous woman with a Master of Social Work Justine Kennedy, talks with Dr. Joti Samra about her experiences with racism, poverty and the child protection system, and explains her selfless choice to raise her seven younger siblings. She shares her strategies for managing and maintaining her anxiety and mental health in order to fight for the well-being of her family.

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About Justine

Justine is 24 years old, married, and just graduated last month with a master of social work degree. She works in the Indigenous students Center at the University of Waterloo.

Justine is the eldest of 14 children, and perhaps most impressively, this young woman is raising her seven young brothers, all under the age of 10. With the youngest still in diapers, she’s doing it with what’s called a customary care agreement, designed to help keep children who can’t be with their parents connected to their communities, and their families.

Justine has a very powerful story to share of moving through her own adversity, and using those experiences to help stimulate important conversations around policy change, as it pertains to our child protection system.

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