June Callwood Award Press Release

Trent Student Honoured with Prestigious Ontario Volunteerism Award

Sue Reynolds Presented with 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism during May 28 Ceremony in Lindsay

Tuesday, May 29, 2007, Peterborough

During an awards ceremony held at the Lindsay Armoury last night, Sue Reynolds, a mature Trent student and single mother of a teenage boy, was recognized by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration as one of 14 province-wide recipients of the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.

Ms. Reynolds received the prestigious award, named in honour of June Callwood, a renowned Canadian journalist, author and social activist, in recognition of her groundbreaking volunteer work teaching creative writing to criminalized women in the Lindsay jail.

“Throughout my youth and adulthood I was aware of June Callwood both as a journalist and an activist – particularly for women’s and children’s issues. As a writer and a person interested in social justice issues I’m both delighted and humbled to have my name paired with hers in this way,” Ms. Reynolds said. “Wonderful as it is to be recognized, doing the program with the women in jail is its own reward. I get as much (or more) out of that experience as any of the inmates who participate in it.”

The June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism is presented on behalf of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on an annual basis and is in recognition of individuals and groups that have made an exceptional contribution to volunteerism in Ontario. Often, these award recipients have shown exceptional leadership, innovation and creativity. A maximum of 20 recipients are chosen each year.

Ms. Reynolds graduated from Trent last year with an honours degree in Psychology. She returned to Trent this past academic year to take more courses, including a creative writing course at Trent in Oshawa. In the fall, Ms. Reynolds will begin a Master’s degree through the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Native Studies at Trent University. In addition, she has also received a grant to offer a creative writing program to criminalized women who have been released back into the community.

Prior to coming to Trent as a mature student, Ms. Reynolds enjoyed a 12 year career in retail clothing and a 16 year career as a graphic designer. She made the decision to undertake her university degree at the age of 47, seeing it as an opportunity to ‘reinvent’ herself.

Her volunteer work with the female inmates of the Lindsay jail began during her second year at Trent. She applied the experience to her undergraduate thesis, which consisted of research into the women’s experiences with the creative writing program and the effect it had on their time in jail.


For more information, please contact:
Sue Reynolds, (905) 243-4836

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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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