Kickin’ it with Sidekick: Laurie Samuel
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Meet Dr. Laurie Samuel – a Criminologist with expertise in police-community relations, police misconduct, community engagement, and interpersonal violence. She has 10-plus years of experience working in law enforcement and is a leading expert in Early Identification and Intervention Systems. A former Director of Equal Employment Opportunity (a division at the Metropolitan Police Department), Dr. Samuel has been invited to consult on major police shooting cases in the United States and was an invited speaker at the Amnesty International meetings in Amsterdam on policing.
Founded in 2015, Cupid's Sting is a non-profit interpersonal violence reduction program with a mission to teach women tools to prevent victimization. Cupid's Sting teaches skills that women may employ in potential altercations or attacks inside or outside the home. Cupid's Sting works to combat violence against women by spreading awareness and facilitating safety training. They are changing the narrative on domestic violence so that women do not suffer in silence.
Dr. Samuel wants to instill in women that they are all worthy of their safety. She has made it her life mission to fight for the underdog and teaches women self-defense to disrupt violence in the community. Dr. Samuel and Cupid’s Sting were also featured in The Southwester and WUSA90.
Dr. Samuel has taken her valuable experience and education in criminology to create Cupid’s Sting. We think she is a great example of an Entrepreneurial Mind within the non-profit sector, where the 4 Ps: purpose, passion, people and profit (financial stability) have proven to be equally important. We are inspired by her passion and drive to support women in fundamental ways.
1. What advice would you give to future entre/intrapreneurs looking to make their mark on the world?
I have an uncle that always told me to find something I am so passionate about, that I would do it for free. The moral of this advice is not to work for free, rather to find your passion, that thing that attracts your every being. So, make your mark on your world but do it with passion and integrity. And when things get hard and you are questioning your place in the world, remember why you started in the first place. This is the spark you need to keep going.
2. Do you have a personal ethos that helps guide your decisions and choices? What is it and where did it come from?
My faith is extremely important to me. When I have big decisions to make, I pray and ask God for guidance. I have committed my life to the service of others, and I approach every task with love, kindness, and integrity. When I am unsure of a direction to take, I ask God to order my steps so that my actions do not cause harm but help.
3. What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like?
When I was younger, I used to jump out of bed immediately, ready to take on the world. But time has taught me to ease into my day so that I am centered and ready. I start my day with gratitude - devotions and thanking God to see another day. Then I focus on movement and exercise and get a long walk in with my dog. This gives me joy and peace and really helps me keep calm and organized for the rest of my day.
4. What are your sources of motivation and inspiration? How do you stay motivated/keep your cup full?
I will not be satisfied until more women are safe and the violence against women rates go down. Every time I read a news story or hear an updated statistic, I am motivated to do more, teach more, and educate more so that women that look like me feel safe in their home and in their community.
From her advice to her motivation, Dr. Samuel puts women’s safety and helping others at the forefront of her life’s work. Her work is beautiful and empowering. Check out Dr. Samuel and Cupid’s Sting on LinkedIn
Cupid’s Sting is always hosting women’s safety events across the Greater Toronto Area, be sure to check them out online, on socials @cupidssting, or reach out to Cupid’s Sting via email.
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(Photo description: Photo of Dr. Laurie Samuel in a yellow blazer with a book case in the background.)