By Jensen, Randy on June 17, 2020.
Lethbridge College faculty, staff, students and community members gathered in the front entrance for the fifth annual Pride flag raising ceremony on Monday morning.
In recognition of Pride Month and to their diverse community, the college raised the rainbow flag to show its continued support for diversity and acceptance throughout its halls and classrooms.
“The flag raising is a really important part of our campus community to recognize that we are a safe place, that we do celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion, and particularly this month recognizing the LGBT+ community,” says Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO.
The Pride flag is a physical statement showing the commitment to fostering all aspects of their community, while they continue to develop resources and supports for LGBTQ+ students, staff, faculty and allies.
“The raising of the flag is really one of the visual significances of it, but we have also created through some provincial health grants, extra resources for students, faculty and staff who identify as LGBTQ+ and also those that can support them, so really helping allies to understand what it all is and how they can support them to be themselves,” says Burns. “Over the last couple of years in particular we were able to create a Pride Lounge, which was an initiative of students and faculty working together to create that safe space and open to all students.”
Many students at the college recognized the efforts made to encourage and spread the message of acceptance for all, as college is a time to learn, explore and begin to understand who you are.
“Raising the flag is such an important public statement of where we stand, it is important that when people come here that they can see that we stand with inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community,” says Skye Harding, president of Lethbridge College Students’ Association. “If they can accept why I am, then I am very happy that they can accept who everyone else is. Everyone is different and we all bring something special to Lethbridge College, and the fact that we accept everyone makes it a much deeper and diverse place.”
Lethbridge College continues to provide support and resources to its LGBTQ+ community through safe spaces, mental resources, as well as participating proudly in Pride events, and being one of 17 Canadian post-secondary institutions chosen for the Dimensions pilot program, a national initiative designed to evaluate what the college is doing to promote equality, diversity and inclusion on their campus, as well as where they can make improvements.
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