2021 06 Halton Pride Initiative Celebrates and Takes Action to Create Equitable Community for 2SLBTQIA+ Youth
By: Amber Siddiqui, Equity Team Leader with contributions from Equity Team members
In April 2021, there was a student-led delegation to have the pride flags raised at the Catholic schools in the region. Unfortunately, the trustees committed a lot of harm throughout the meetings. The motion was struck down and no flags will be flown. Since then we have seen a huge gap in our community. This has been seen for years and we are here in hopes to address the harm that has been caused.
We were invited by the Halton Pride Collective to provide volunteer efforts and resources in response to HCDSB and to create action during this year’s PRIDE month (June).
Pride Jr - Friday, June 4
Unfiltered Conversations: Halton Youth for Pride 2021 - Friday, June 11
Youth Dance Party: Celebrating Queer Joy - Friday, June 18
Halton Youth for Pride 2021 - hosted by HYI - Saturday, June 26
A hybrid event with a virtual and in-person component.
The in-person component was a small group of HYI volunteers (Amber Siddiqui, Gabrielle Dymock, Leesha Pillai), HYI facilitator Lily Viggiano, and Gennile Thomas from Halton Black Voices. The purpose of the gathering was to conduct an informational interview.
The virtual event was open to all youth in Halton Region. It consisted of learning about Pride and its history in Halton Region, icebreaking with all participants to create safer spaces, created a Kahoot to learn about LGBT topics and history - and finally, there was a live interview streamed for the virtual viewers. We thank folks from Positive Space Network and YMCA Oakville for supporting our virtual component.
“The event was a complete success. The live interview with Gennile from Halton Black Voices and Leesha, Amber, and Gabrielle was well done and received. Also, the virtual component was great too. Farwa Rehan did a great job hosting, and Kacy Bao, Trisha Purandare, and I did well in discussing 2SLGBTQ+ prompts and questions to the attendees. Sincerely and Happy Pride.” - Varun Vahainambi
"Working with my team I learned the importance of inclusivity through not only symbols but actions. The flag is more than a symbol, it is an action that the school board made to single out our peers and make them feel isolated and ashamed. It was nice to work with a group of youth who have the same desire to really include everyone in our community." Gabrielle Dymock
"The Milton Youth Action Team gives you a platform to share your opinions and where you know you won’t receive judgement. You’re able to share your opinions and do something to make a change within your community as big or small as it may seem. Working with my team I saw others who had the same passion for Justice and those who recognized the fact that flying the flag had significance." Naomi Ogunjobi “Flying the flag is so important to so many people. It creates an environment where people feel comfortable being their true selves, where people feel safe and know that they are respected and loved. Working on projects with this team made me feel so empowered and I felt inspired to create change and make a positive difference in today’s world.” Trisha Purandare