Reggie Newkirk grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the United States Air Force in the 1960s to escape the draft. After his tour in the U.S.A.F he attended the University of Wyoming and after one and a half years in 1968, he moved to Alberta, Canada. Mr. Newkirk attended and graduated from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, with a degree in history and philosophy. Soon afterward, Mr. Newkirk embarked on a career devoted to the protection of human rights. For seventeen years he served extensively in this field working for federal, provincial and territorial human rights commissions. He worked in the areas of: Native rights, as executive director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission; labour relations, as the Assistant Director of the Human Rights Branch of the Ministry of Labour in British Columbia; as Western Regional Director of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Vancouver; and family violence prevention as the Executive Director of the B.C. Institute on Family Violence. He is also a volunteer with the Regina Restorative Measures Program, All Nations Hope AIDS Network, SaskCulture Inc., Lumsden Lions’ Club and a number of other community-based organizations.Currently, Mr. Newkirk runs his own consulting company, Parity Consulting, in Lumsden, Saskatchewan where one of his chief activities is the spearheading of the very successful Institute for Healing Racism workshops with colleague, journalist and educator Nathan Rutstein. After 4 years refining the process of the Institute, Mr. Newkirk and Mr. Rutstein co-authored a guide to this process, "Racial Healing: The Institutes for the Healing of Racism". Together, they have facilitated more than 40 two-day introductory sessions in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Michigan, Maine and New York City. Mr. Newkirk is considered to be among Canada's top human rights and race relation experts. Because of his ability to handle challenging issues with sensitivity, care and humor, Mr. Newkirk is sought after as a public motivational and inspirational speaker by many different organizations, businesses and groups.
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