Nancy and Robert Campana

Nancy and Robert Campana share what they have accomplished in support of the LGBTQ2+ community, and what receiving the Meritorious Service Medal means to them.

Transcript + screen description

[Screen Description: Text on a grey background reads, “Canadian Honours, Nancy and Robert Campana, Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division).” There is a viceregal lion above the text.]

[Screen Description: Several words characterizing honours recipients move across a black screen. The screen reads, “Canadian honours presented by the Governor General”.]

[Screen Description: Nancy and Robert Campana are sitting next to each other. They take turns speaking to the camera. The screen reads, “Nancy and Robert Campana, Windsor, Ontario, recipients of the Meritorious Service Medal (Civil Division)”.]

[Robert Campana:] Rocky had friends that...It upset him that they—they never could tell their parents who they were because they were worried about being removed from the house.

But our home was always a safe place for all his friends.

[Nancy Campana:] We lost our son Rocky in 2012, August of 2012.

Rocky attempted to take his own life and then he lived for two days and...

Rocky was always very much an advocate in the LGBTQ community.

He was a gay young man and he came out when he was 17.

Rocky had big plans for the work he wanted to do.

He had talked to me about the work he wanted to do within gay-straight alliances.

There wasn't a GSA available to Rocky when he was in school, but we know he would have been the GSA leader.

We knew when Rocky passed away we wanted to continue his work.

And we did that through partnering with the Windsor Pride Community here, and starting the Run for Rocky.

[Robert Campana:] It's a 5-kilometre run.

We made it a family event.

You didn't have to be a runner, you could walk.

It was more to bring people together and to get the message across, what we were doing.

[Nancy Campana:] The Run for Rocky Event took place for five years.

And through that event, we were able to raise $270,000.

The first thing is that we provide grants to gay-straight alliances within the schools.

We also fund ongoing events, scholarships, education for parents.

All of the Run for Rocky funding is around education because we feel that education is empowerment.

[Screen Description: Malachi Malabre is standing outside and speaking to the camera. The screen reads, “Malachi Malabre, former president, Riverside GSA.” There is a body of water and large bridge behind him.]

[Malachi Malabre:] When I first came out, I joined my school's GSA and I was referred to the Run for Rocky by one of my teachers.

And they helped fund my GSA, they helped fund everything that we wanted to do.

[Screen Description: Throughout the video, the screen alternates between Mr. and Ms. Campana, Mr. Malabre, and a series of scenes featuring the Run For Rocky, the office of the Windsor Pride Community, and the city of Windsor, Ontario.]

[Nancy Campana:] The goal of the project was to make Windsor a safer and friendlier space for LGBTQ people.

[Malachi Malabre:] I see now a lot more diversity, a lot more people who are open and comfortable, and feel safe to be able to be themselves.

[Robert Campana:] The Meritorious Award that we received was a wonderful honour and really a surprise to both of us.

And it's just not an award for Nancy and I, it's an award for our whole community, who wrapped their arms around us and believed in what we were doing, and rallied around us.

[Nancy Campana:] That award just gave Windsor more recognition for the diverse community it's become.

[Screen Description: Text on a grey background reads, “The Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) recognize remarkable individuals who bring honour to our country through their exceptional deeds in many different fields.” There is a Meritorious Service Medal and Cross above the text.]

[Screen Description: A viceregal lion on a grey background.]