Tomorrow, 225 delegates from 160 LGBTQ-A* Service Providers from every province and territory will be coming to Dare to Stand Out: Canada’s FIRST National LGBTQ-A* Service Providers’ Summit, and JersVision.org is so proud to be a lead partner in organizing this event.
As Canada’s national organization working to address bullying, discrimination, homophobia and transphobia in schools and youth communities, we are privileged to work with amazing organizations from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, NF. However, in our travels we have noticed a challenge—the difficulty of national collaboration. For example, someone might create an amazing resource, but it never leaves their center, while only hours away someone else embarks to create the same resource unaware it is already out there. Also, where can we as organizations share best practices; develop national goals; reflect on collective concerns; and build our vision?
It is for these reasons we are organizing this Summit. At this event 2 days in Toronto, ON, these are questions that our community leaders will attempt to address.
The Summit will also include presentations, workshops and panels by leaders in our community, and this training will strengthen our capacity to deliver services in your community. Check out the full Summit schedule here.
On the other side of the country, Theo Cultum will graduate and become Canada’s first openly transgendered valedictorian. Just a few years ago, the school originally had difficulty setting up their Gay-Straight Alliance. However teacher, Sue Monti, says that working with JersVision.org and the Vancouver School Board’s Anti-Homophobia & Diversity Mentor changed school culture. She notes that 1 in 5 students joined the Gay-Strait Alliance club after an assembly by JersVision.org. After a lot of hard work their school a safer place for everyone. Today things are different, not because “it gets better”, but because people like Theo and Sue make it better.
That is what we do at JersVision.org: we build bridges and work with hundreds of organization across Canada. Sometimes, we even get to do things first, like speaking at Theo’s school or organizing the Summit–and we see that work catalyse real change.
This summer, we will also run a new program in the Ottawa area, called the Rainbow Outreach Team. Volunteers will go to Farmer’s Markets, Festivals and Community events running trivia games about LGBTQ-A* history and sharing information about local LGBTQ-A* organizations. Check out this volunteer opportunity by coming to our info night July 4th, from 5-7 at our office in Ottawa (RSVP atInfo@JersVision.org).
This might seem like a strange assortment of initiatives, but we are part of a larger community of programs, working together to end homophobia and transphobia in Canada.
To support that work, we have donors like you.
Some donors even organize fundraisers for us like the Ontario Public Service Pride’s Tall Ship Cruise on Wednesday 26 in Toronto. It’s not too late to get your ticket or more info here. You can also make a donation to support our programs in your community here. Or better yet, become a monthly donor and make Pride Month (June) extra special.
Thank you for your ongoing support,
(your) Director of JersVision.org & DayOfPink.org
Also, I would be remised if I didn’t mention:
- Check out Sappho…in 9 Fragments in Ottawa (June 25, 26, 29) and Montreal (June 27 & 28)
- Sussex High School’s choreography to Ellen’s anti-homophobia speech. We were there, in New Brunswick, earlier this school year, and a dancer said our work was an inspiration to the piece.
- Deadlines are fast approaching for the Jeremy Dias Scholarship, more info here.
- Out on Bay Street has a new Student
Scholarship and has opened nominations for the Leaders To Be Proud of Awards. Check it out!!
NOTE: Photo from JersVision.org’s 2013 LGBTQ-A* Brampton Youth Conference. Youth met Premier Wynne; Ministers Murray, Naqvi & Sandals; and Cheri DiNovo. They spent the day learning about LGBTQ-A* Communities & how to make it better.