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CWDHS hosts International Day of Pink event

April 17, 2023

FERGUS, ON — April 12 was the International Day of Pink. It’s a day raise awareness and take a stand against bullying, homophobia and transphobia and any other form of discrimination against the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

On Tuesday, April 11, the Centre Wellington DHS Prism Student Group, the UGDSB 2SLGBTQIA+ Staff Affinity Advisory Group, the UGDSB Equity and Inclusion and the Indigenous Education Teams respectively hosted an International Day of Pink event to have a day of community, celebration and learning for queer students, queer staff and folks working in allyship. 

 The morning session featured queer activist Martin Boyce – who was instrumental in the Gay Rights Movement in the 60s. The learning commons at CWDHS was full of students who learned about of Stonewall Riots – a series of spontaneous protests by members of the queer community in response to the police raids of gay and lesbian bars. The riots began in the early morning of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn. Martin was interviewed by the founder of the International Day of Pink, Jeremy Dias. Jeremy is also the founder of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (formerly Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative). 

The day of learning continued with Anishinaabe activist and advocate Teddy Syrette from Batchewana First Nation who spoke with students about their experiences growing up as a Two-Spirit person in rural northern Ontario. Students could continue their learning with Teddy in a workshop exploring Indigeneity, 2SLGBTQIA+ identities and allyship. 

“Data shows that kids need to see themselves represented so they know it’s possible that they can become anything they want to be or achieve anything they want to achieve,” said Gillian Whitcombe, a program services teacher in the UGDSB.

At the end of each session, students had the opportunity to ask the speakers questions before selecting afternoon workshop sessions based on their interest. 

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