#UGRainbow2019 – Students and staff reflect at Rainbow Leadership Summit
June 4, 2019
FERGUS, Ontario – Upper Grand District School Board students in grades 5-12 spent the day celebrating and learning at the Rainbow Leadership Summit on June 4.
This year, the Rainbow Leadership Summit was born from the legacy of the Rainbow Coalition Conference as a day of celebration, reflection and learning for students who lead LGBTQ+ and GSA equity groups at their school.
After students arrived at the Fergus Sportsplex, they heard from Keynote Speaker, Holly Painter. Painter is a spoken-word artist, public speaker and teacher. Through her performances she shares inspiring stories to children, youth and adults.
Painter spoke to students through poetry about “speaking your truth,” acceptance and encouraged everyone to “show the love” by throwing their arms in the air in celebration.
Earlier this year through a series of Google Hangouts, UGDSB Equity Lead Jessica Rowden and Curriculum Lead Jen Apgar spoke to LGBTQ+ and GSA groups and learned that several of the groups wanted to share what they are doing at their school in celebration of Pride and acceptance during the Summit. During the mid-morning, these student groups made presentations. Afterwards, groups were able to work together to share and reflect on these student presentations.
During lunch, the Sportsplex was filled with music, laughter, creativity, talk and games. Lunch was made into a creative and safe space for students to share their thoughts, be creative and work on art for the afternoon parade.
Following lunch, students and staff were able to reflect and analyze on the work they have done this year and to connect with groups from other schools to talk about learning. This was also the time for students to share with event organizers and board staff what they feel is and isn’t working and share what they think would help in the future.
The end of the day came with everyone getting dressed up and participating in the parade. Students chanted, laughed, sang and marched with fellow peers and staff.
The day was full of great learning, reflection and celebration on all things Pride.