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DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

A journey of growing, learning and improving a

Calgary Pride aims to create spaces that ensure 2SLGBTQ+ belonging and celebration.

JOURNEY OF LEARNING.

OVERARCHING INCLUSION AND EQUITY PRACTICES.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

To recognize the work we do on Treaty 7 territory, land acknowledgments started being included in 2017.

2017

Started all Calgary Pride events including Board meetings

2019

Added to website and annual report

2020

Included in email signature of all members of the organization

DIVERSE ARTISTS

Prioritizing queer, Black, Indigenous and racialized voices through the scope of our free public programming. All of our artists are paid for their time and talent.

2018

41% of artist funding (totaling $_____) went to racialized and/or trans/non-binary performers.

2019

58% of artist funding (totaling $21,674.60) went to racialized and/or trans/non-binary performers.

2020

56% of artist funding (totaling $40,552.40) went to racialized and/or trans/non-binary performers.

70.1% of learning series workshops offered in 2020 and early 2021 were hosted by racialized and/or trans/non-binary presenters, and $90,198 was paid in presenter honorariums. Workshops included The Political Power of Drag Performers, Black Queer Leadership in the Defund the Police Movement, Alternatives to Police Intervention, Queer Immigrant Perspectives, Combating Racism in the LGBTQ+ Community, Indigenous Issues & Decolonization, Trans & Non-Binary 101, and many more.

YEAR ROUND PROGRAMMING

The varied year-round programming we offer is integral to ensuring ongoing connection within our community and the broader public. Its focus is on  providing opportunities to learn from and support each other while creating visibility for the contributions and ongoing challenges faced by 2SLGBTQ+ people.

Since 2018, the Reading with Royalty program has celebrated diversity and encouraged children to look beyond gender stereotypes and explore who they are. With more than 85 events we’ve reached almost 5000 kiddos , both online and in person, and this unique program is the first and only of its kind in Alberta. The program  combines  the importance of literacy and dynamics of gender expression, and is designed for children ages 12 and under. Of the 11 active Royal Readers, 6 are trans or non-binary and 2 have disabilities.

Queerly Festive (annual): Many members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community find themselves displaced and without family supports, which is further exacerbated making the holidays including Christmas an especially difficult time. To combat this, we are pleased to produce an annual holiday dinner and show, with entry for free or by donation. We want to ensure that every person within our community has an opportunity to take part, connect with friends, meet new old and new ones, and celebrate the holidays with our diversity.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Calgary Pride recognizes the valuable and impactful contributions of grassroots organizations and collectives advocating on behalf of, and/or celebrating, the lived experience of trans, nonbinary, racialized and indigenous people. We are committed to providing ongoing financial contributions annually that from 2017 – 2020 equal $23,627 supporting 8 local groups.

Continued education and professional development

Calgary Pride is dedicated to the ongoing learning of those within the organization. Since 2019 staff, volunteers and board members have attended and contributed to national conferences and independent workshops focusing on anti-racism, decolonization, Indigenous ways of knowing, conflict resolution, equity and inclusion.

Since 2021, the Calgary Pride Board of Directors and staff have been required to complete Alberta Heath Services’ ‘Trauma Informed Care Learning Series’ and the University of Alberta’s ‘Indigenous Canada’ online course as part of onboarding with the organization.

Recruiting a diverse workforce

Weighing lived experience the same as formal education and previous experiences in volunteer and staff positions.

Employing staff and volunteers from varied backgrounds who have lived experience navigating different dimensions of diversity such as age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, values, disability and mental health and socioeconomic status.

2020

Out of 11 staff, 8 Racialized &/or Trans- Enby (70%)

2021

Out of 6 staff, 2 are racialized, 2 are queer and disabled, 2 are non-binary and 1 is neurodiverse.

2022

Out of 8 staff - 5 identify as BIPOC (63%), 7 identify as being a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community (88%), and 4 identify as having a disability (50%)

OVER THE YEARS.

OUR EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION JOURNEY.

2019

POLICE AND THE PARADE

Calgary Pride released a policy related to uniformed Police and the Parade in 2019. The policy was a culmination of 2 years of extensive community engagement.

Calgary Pride was pleased to work with Elise Ahenkorah from March 2017 to November 2018 on this project. Elise is an award winning inclusion strategist, and was the first Black person to sit on a Pride executive leadership team in Alberta. Elise was instrumental to this work and provided thoughtful leadership on matters of community consultation, townhall facilitation and stakeholder relations.

The policy acknowledges the historical oppression and institutionalized racism faced by queer/trans people of colour and Indigenous persons  and the potentially negative association with weapons, uniforms, and other law enforcement symbols. We also recognize the oppression of the gender and sexually diverse community (GSD)  at large, the discrimination faced by members of law enforcement who identify as part of the GSD community, and the challenges they may have encountered as a self-identified GSD community member in the workplace. Both groups continue to courageously face these challenges through advocating for cultural shifts in their communities.

In May 2019, Calgary Pride called for brave leadership to end the harmful practice of Conversion Therapy.

Over the next year, a bylaw was created with unprecedented community consultation. This included a broad community survey, public submission process, and input from 58 groups composed of 44 religious communities, eight 2SLGBTQ+ organizations, and six groups that would be considered neutral within the social services sector.

Calgary Pride thanks Affirming Connections and their partners for their instrumental support and dedication!

Politics & Pride

In 2019, Calgary Pride decided to exclude all political parties from marching as unique groups.

This decision prompted significant community and political reactions; as a follow-up, we asked for public and stakeholder input on the decision and various policy options. For the outcome see “Politics & Pride 2” below (you can also learn more here).

Rainbow and Trans Flag Crosswalks

Calgary Pride unveiled its very own year-round rainbow and trans flag crosswalks on one of its busiest pedestrian and tourist roadways, on Stephen Avenue in front of the Calgary Tower.

Calgary Pride thanks Zoom Painting for their support in maintaining the crosswalks!

Accessibility on Parade Route

Calgary Pride worked with Universal Access to ensure that the parade route was as accessible as possible.

This included providing specialty training to volunteers, arranging transportation from the parade route and at the park, providing viewing areas at parade and festival, and having ASL interpreters for all of our stages.

Expansion of Board of Directors

At the 2019 AGM Calgary Pride amended our bylaws to add three board seats, bringing the possible board contingent to 15 members, with a long-term goal of ensuring diversity of thought and lived experience on the Calgary Pride board.

Capacity Building

During Calgary Pride’s 2019 strategic planning, a critical gap and priority was the need for quality documentation to codify practices to support the 498% organizational growth experienced by the organization between 2017 and 2019, and provide continuity for future teams.

2020

Ban on Conversion Therapy – Part 2

On May 25, 2020, the conversion therapy bylaw was passed by our city council due to the advocacy work of Calgary Pride and partners that took place over the past year.

Calgary Pride thanks Affirming Connections and their partners for their instrumental support and dedication!

Politics & Pride – Part 2

As a follow-up to the 2019 decision to exclude all political parties from marching as unique groups, Calgary Pride asked for public and stakeholder input on the decision and various policy options.

On February 22, 2020, two events were held to collect feedback: a public open house and a stakeholder roundtable to hear from political party representatives. The Dept of Words & Deeds facilitated the open house and provided a report to Calgary Pride at the end of February, which summarized key findings and made numerous suggestions to form the basis of a new draft policy.

Calgary Pride  incorporated this feedback into developing a new draft policy (to learn more click here).

Calgary Pride thanks Affirming Connections and their partners for their instrumental support and dedication!

Capacity building – Part 2

As a result of the gap identified in the 2019 strategic plan, the organization applied and was awarded a multi-year grant from the Government of Canada’s Department for Women and Gender Equality.

The grant allowed the organization to identify, fortify, and document Calgary Pride’s current success strategies, policies and procedures across a variety of business areas (communications and marketing, finance, fundraising, donor development, community engagement, volunteer management, and core programming delivery). The policies and procedures are being  reviewed through an intersectional lens by partners and subject matter experts.

Indigenous Way of Knowing

Calgary Pride engaged a Two-Spirit Knowledge Keeper to review and make suggestions on our policies and organizational structure, as well as provide training to our board and volunteers on Indigenous ways of knowing and decolonized conflict resolution.

Calls for Accountability

In November 2020, members of the Calgary Pride community shared their experiences of racism while engaging with Calgary Pride.

Calgary Pride took these reports and calls for action very seriously. As a result, the Board initiated an independent, complainant-centred, third-party assessment of our workplace culture and operations. The organization also took time for deep reflection so we could learn and explore opportunities for growth and change. Please read more under “Next Steps.”

2021

Annual General Meeting

  • Membership Changes: No membership fee requirement.
  • Flatten hierarchical structure: Change from a President and Vice-President model to a Co-Chair and Officers model at the Board of Directors.
  • Transfer of organizational knowledge: Officer term changed from 1 year to 2 years. Co-Chairs to serve a 3 year overlapping term.
  • Board of Directors mandate: To manage the affairs of the society.
  • Board of Director Composition:  Up to a total of up to 15 individuals.
  • Conflict of interest:  Individuals cannot sit on another Board that presents a Conflict of Interest.
  • Remuneration: Not eligible for remuneration.
  • Number of Board members present to transact business: Quorum is 60% of Officers on the Board of Directors.
  • Governance model: subject to Robert’s Rule of Order.

Calls for Accountability – Part 2

In our 2020 annual report published on April 21, 2021 and during our March 24, 2021 Annual General Meeting, we have recognized, acknowledged and apologized for the harm caused and for not creating an environment of belonging.

As we move forward, we will be incorporating the outcome and teachings from the assessment into our strategic plan, policies and procedures to create a framework ensuring long-term sustainable change. Please read more under “Next Steps.”

Indigenous Flag Raising Ceremony

In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, Two Spirit Representatives of Treaty 7 and Métis Nation of Alberta,
Region 3 opened Calgary Pride Week 2021 with a ceremony followed by the Pride Flag Raising which was led by Indigenous leaders. In the words of the Knowledge Keeper, this is something historic, powerful and healing. This was also something that, to our knowledge and awareness of the Knowledge Keeper, has never been done before by another official Canadian Pride organization.

In doing things the good way, Parade Day, September 5,
started with a Knowledge Keeper sharing teachings and offering blessings.

Collaborative Leadership Structure

In November 2020, members of the Calgary Pride community shared their experiences of racism while engaging with Calgary Pride.

As voted by the membership at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, there will no longer be a president and vice president at the board level, but instead co-chairs and officers. The change to flatten the hierarchical structure and move to a more collective decision making model was taken one step further and implemented at the staff level as well. At the operational level, there is no longer an Executive Director, but instead three managers who work in a collaborative leadership model.

Organizational Change

Hasina Juma becomes Director of Organizational Change (temporary).

As a former board member and business professional with experience in policy development, community relations, and diversity and inclusion, she supported the organization by ensuring operational momentum and strategic evolution.

Capacity Building – Part 3

The policies and procedures across a number of business areas  (communications and marketing, finance, human resources*, fundraising, donor development, community engagement, volunteer management, and core programming delivery) continue to be under review with the support of subject matter experts and partners through an intersectional lens.

*The human resource policies will focus on the following but not limited to: recruitment, grievances, conflict resolution, and disciplinary procedures.

BANNING CONVERSION THERAPY – Part 3

On December 7, 2021, Canada’s House of Commons unanimously voted to ban 2SLGBTQ+ conversion therapy. This is a historical moment, and we celebrate this step forward in creating a safer society for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

In 2021, Calgary Pride along with over 100 2SLGBTQ+ and civil society organizations, united to support No Conversion Canada’s “Community Call to Action” which called on Canada’s Parliament to ban conversion practices, implement policies and funding to support survivors, and create and awareness programs to ensure the continued ban of conversion practices. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to No Conversion Canada; their continued dedication and advocacy has ensured the passing of this historic legislation.

2022

2SLGBTQ+ Refugees are Calgary Pride’s Parade Marshals

In 2022, Calgary Pride welcomed 2SLGBTQ+ refugees as the parade marshals. The marshals represented many countries including Afghanistan, Belgium, Iran, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Serbia, and Ukraine. Working closely with the End of the Rainbow Foundation and the Centre for Newcomers, Calgary Pride centered the complexity and intersectionality of 2SLGBTQ+ immigration at this year’s parade. Calgary Pride recognizes the importance of acknowledging and celebrating those among us who have left everything behind and now call Turtle Island home. Moh’kinsstis has been a gathering place since time immemorial – this year’s Parade Marshals will continue to honour this tradition. 2SLGBTQ+ refugees are a symbol of the courage and resiliency the Pride Movement stands for.

Indigenous Flag Raising Ceremony & Engagement

 In 2022, Calgary Pride was honoured to continue our engagement with Indigenous and Two Spirit leaders from Treaty 7 Nations and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 to ensure Calgary Pride practices active reconciliation. Indigenous leaders opened Calgary Pride Week with a ceremony and led the Pride Flag Raising at City Hall on August 26, 2022. At the Flag Raising, remarks were shared by a Two Spirit Knowledge Keeper from Siksika Nation and A Two-Spirit drumming song was then shared. Additionally, Calgary Pride participated in rebuilding a sweat in Treaty 7 and gratefully received an Indigenous blessing at our new office space in East Village. 

Destined Changemaker Award

In 2022, Calgary Pride launched its very first scholarship. The ‘Destined Changemaker Award’ will provide a 2SLGBTQ+ student up to $10,000 for their studies at Mount Royal University. The award will  is be open to full-time students who are enrolled in the first year of any program at Mount Royal University for the upcoming fall 2023 semester. This endeavor will allow Calgary Pride to distribute partnership funding to students from vulnerable communities, with an emphasis on supporting 2SLGBTQ+ students from rural areas that are demonstrated leaders, volunteers, and community advocates.

Pride & Politics – Update

In 2019, the Calgary Pride Board of Directors opted to ban political parties from the Calgary Pride Parade. To help reflect on our decision and policy options, Calgary Pride asked for public and stakeholder input on a way forward. In 2020, two events were held to collect feedback on this issue – a public open house with community members and a stakeholder roundtable that heard from political party representatives. Following the recommendations of this engagement, Calgary Pride permitted political parties to apply for participation in the 2022 Parade & Festival. The Calgary Pride Board of Directors asked a jury of 2SLGBTQ+ community members, who represent a variety of lived experiences and intersections, to determine which political parties would be allowed to march in the 2022 Calgary Pride Parade. In keeping with the recommendations of our community engagement, political parties had to submit supplementary information as part of their application and the jury utilized a distinct evaluation criteria.

Our goal for more robust representation.

We are actively exploring how to best create a paid intersectional advisory council that will function as part of the board. We hope that this will reduce barriers to participation, and increase the diversity of lived experiences in our leadership.

We will be creating new clear and explicit values and policies with respect to the intersectional nature of our work, prioritizing anti-oppression, and working to prevent discrimination and harassment in our community and operations.

We are actively updating our policies including, but not limited to: recruitment, grievances, conflict resolution, and disciplinary procedures.

Introducing organization-wide training on: trauma-informed practices, conflict resolution, anti-racism, and anti-oppression.

Offering our leadership professional development opportunities focused on nonprofit management and/or leadership development.

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