In a show of support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, Lethbridge College raised the Pride Flag on campus on Monday morning. The raising of the flag coincides with Lethbridge Pride celebrations, which are taking place throughout the week.
This is the sixth year Lethbridge College has flown the Pride Flag, and the first time the Progressive Pride Flag has been raised. This new flag aims to bring a greater focus to inclusion and progress within but not limited to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This variation adds a chevron to the left side of the flag that features black, brown, light blue, pink and white stripes that represent marginalized people of colour, trans individuals and those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as those who have been lost who are often overlooked or forgotten.
“Our commitment is to support our 2SLGBTQIA+ community and create an environment where everyone is safe to learn, work and live,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “As part of the larger southern Alberta community, it’s our responsibility to be leaders in showing support and acceptance, while focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion for all.”
Lethbridge College continues its commitment to take action to increase equity, diversity and inclusion on campus, including being one of just 12 Canadian post-secondary institutions to receive a two-year, $400,000 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Institutional Capacity-Building Grant. This money is helping the college identify and overcome systemic barriers that impede the career advancement, recruitment and retention of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.
“We are always striving to learn more, listen more and work harder to remove barriers to education,” says Dr. Samantha Lenci, Lethbridge College Provost and Vice President – Academic. “We are excited to fly the Progressive Pride Flag to show that everyone is welcome at our college.”
Dr. Lenci, Lethbridge College Students’ Association Vice President - Student Life Joanne Kariuki and Lethbridge Pride Fest Chair Lane Sterr took part in the raising of the college’s Progressive Pride Flag.
“In the past few years, we have seen great movements from the Black, Asian and Indigenous communities, as well as others who are standing up against the discrimination, violence, racism and biases that the communities have faced for many years,” says Sterr. “Lethbridge Pride Fest Society wants the change of the flag to be a symbol of solidarity and change within our community; we recognize that ourselves and everyone must actively continue to be allies to these marginalized communities and be a part of the positive progress and change within southern Alberta and across Canada. Pride Month in Lethbridge is a time to celebrate and really take note of the immense diversity and to celebrate it! Pride is for everyone!”
More information on this year’s Pride week events can be found on the official Lethbridge Pride Fest website.