We’re proud of what our people do inside and outside of our organization. And what better way to celebrate our people than to showcase our people and the organizations they devote time to?
In this edition, we’re sharing our people’s involvement with the LGBTQ2S community in a 3:28 minute read.
Erin Lester | Project Manager
QMUNITY is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. They provide a safe space for LGBTQ2S people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. The building serves as a catalyst for community initiatives and collective strength.
Each year I volunteer during the Pride season, helping out by supervising and setting up events such as the Queer Prom, Donor Banquet, and Second Beach Pride Picnic in the Park – an event where we promote counselling, youth and senior services with the LGBTQ2S community.
My favourite thing that I get to do with QMUNITY is attend Queer Competency Training sessions which are for all new and seasoned volunteers! QMUNITY takes the time to educate everyone in the community to help support the community. This plays a huge part in being an ally by understanding your peers and their history. Looking for support or wanting to volunteer? Get in touch!
Emily Savage | Lawyer
I was involved with the diversity and inclusion committee at my former firm, and although I’m not currently involved with any specific organization, I’ve supported Pride at Work Canada and the Get REAL Movement.
Pride at Work Canada empowers employers to build workplaces that celebrate all employees regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. They help create safer, more inclusive workspaces that realize the full potential of all employees and bring down barriers to employment. Looking to get involved? Well, get involved!
The Get REAL Movement started out in the Welcome Week program at Western University, where they talked to the first years about derogatory language and creating a safe space for marginalized students who were looking to express themselves safely. The movement has grown since: they have impacted over 150,000 students through workshops, opened 20 university chapters, and have delivered workshops in 9 provinces and 3 states. Want to schedule a workshop or volunteer with them? Join the movement!
Kelty McKerracher | Student
Last year I joined the UVic OUTLaws, which is a club for queer, trans and non-binary students and allies. I think my favourite part of the community at UVic is its inclusiveness. The entire purpose of OUTLaws is to create a space where people can be fully themselves in every expression of sexual and gender diversity. I really appreciate that it is a trans-positive space – in fact, the main fundraising we did last year was for an organization called Gender Spectacular, which is an organization in Victoria that provides a fun, social environment for trans and gender-creative kids 12 and under as well as a supportive place for their parents. There’s a nice mix of political involvement and raising awareness as well as just opportunities for students to hang out, whether through games nights, playing pool, or movie nights. I’m planning to run as co-president of OUTlaws next year and looking forward to seeing what we get up to!
In my work as a student, I’ve been including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report in many policy writings for the BC Assembly of First Nations this summer – it highlights the impacts of violence on Indigenous 2LGBTQQIA people as well as women and girls.
Ryley Mennie | Principal
We are Reel Sponsors for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, run by the Vancouver Out On Screen Society. Out On Screen is the driving force behind the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Out In Schools. They do important work in our communities by furthering our understanding of LGBTQ2S issues and contributions to our communities and engaging and supporting youth in addressing homophobia, transphobia and bullying. We are fortunate and proud to support Out on Screen and the important work they do with pro bono legal services, mainly with employment matters.
Out On Screen proudly showcases films that illuminate transformative moments in the lives of queer, trans, and two-spirit people. They create social change through film, education and dialogue. They lead courageously, think strategically and work together with committed partners to foster belonging, affirmation and connections within our community and with other social movements.
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is on now until August 25! So many interesting films to choose from, so little time, but you have to start somewhere!