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Calgary Pride’s Board of Directors recognizes, acknowledges and wholeheartedly apologizes to any members of our community who have experienced or witnessed  harm through their interactions with our organization. Our mission is to promote equality and celebrate Calgary’s diversity and it is absolutely unacceptable that any person has been harmed through interactions with our organization. 

In November 2020, following accounts of racism within our organization, we hired an independent external party to conduct a trauma-informed, client-centred assessment of the complaints, our policies and procedures, and our workplace culture. It takes immense strength and vulnerability to share these difficult experiences and we thank those who came forward.  

We recently received the findings of the assessment, which validated details of the experiences shared and identified several areas for improvement. We are obligated to protect the confidentiality of the contributors, as well as potential future complainants or witnesses, to ensure the integrity of the process. As such we cannot share the full report. However, it is clear we have caused harm, and we can share that we are actively implementing new controls and safeguards to prevent further or future harm. Calgary Pride is fully committed to increasing internal transparency, oversight, accountability and creating a more positive safety culture and environment of belonging. 

We acknowledge we are rooted in Canada’s colonial past and settler culture and reflect current inequalities. And we realize we must strive to be more than non-racist; we must be actively anti-racist. Recognizing and addressing the complex structures of racism and discrimination in Canadian society is an important step to introducing authentic local change. This is a challenge for not-for-profits and non-governmental organizations alike, but we are committed to continuous learning in the areas of racial equity and truth and reconciliation to be better for the diverse communities we serve. 

The Board is actively working to address the root causes of the issues identified. This is a long-term commitment, there are no quick fixes to create an organization that is genuinely and wholly anti-racist.

With the support and guidance of external experts, work is currently underway to improve our recruitment process, internal policies and procedures, as well as ensuring our leadership have appropriate anti-racism, anti-oppression, trauma-informed practice and leadership training.

We can and must do better for everyone, at every intersection under the rainbow. And we hope to rebuild the trust that has been placed in us.

More information about our journey and the changes being implemented can be found on our diversity, equity and inclusion webpage, where we will be posting regular updates. To submit feedback, suggestions, or find out how to get involved, we invite you to visit our website.

Yours in Pride,

Shelby Dewhirst (She/They)
Interim Chair, Calgary Pride Board of Directors