Hi everyone! In our equity news for today, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that today, March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility (also known as Trans Day of Visibility or TDOV). First celebrated in 2009, TDOV is an occasion to acknowledge the reality of transphobia but also celebrate the contributions, achievements, and lives of two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender diverse people worldwide. On behalf of Acadia, I am proud to recognize this day and celebrate our gender diverse students, staff, and faculty – you are valued, you are important, and your presence here makes our campus and community even more beautiful.
I’m also thrilled to announce that today marks the launch of Moving Beyond the Binary, an important project that one of our valued staff members, Allison Smith, played a key role in.
Moving Beyond the Binary is a guide to meaningful inclusion of two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender diverse people and communities. The guide is intended for any employer, service provider, educational institute, or other organization that wants to understand its obligations under the Human Rights Act and build spaces that welcome everyone. Allison, who is Acadia’s Sexualized Violence Response and Education Coordinator, wrote the guide and contributed significantly to the materials that accompany it, including a free trans inclusion policy that any organization can download and tailor to its own needs, three truly lovely animated videos about the importance of inclusion, and a series of beautiful portraits of gender diverse community members from across Nova Scotia. Visit the Moving Beyond the Binary website to see all of these amazing resources.
I’m also excited to let everyone know that Allison and two of the key members of the Moving Beyond the Binary project team will be giving a series a free 2-hour online workshops to orient organizations to the guide. Plans are in the works to have one of these workshops delivered to our Acadia community, so stay tuned for an announcement with a date and registration info for this awesome free training opportunity.
Also, Allison and I will be setting up a booth in the SUB today from 11-1 to celebrate TDOV and make good use of our new button maker! We’ll have some buttons on hand with pronouns, affirming messages of love, and the trans pride colours. You can also make your own button. We hope to see many of you there.
Today on TDOV, I encourage you to take a moment to think about the two-spirit, trans, non-binary, and other gender diverse people who you know personally and those who you don’t know but whose art, music, acting, research, or other important contributions have made a difference in your life. I also encourage you to visit the Moving Beyond the Binary guide and resources and share them with everyone in your life.
Polly Leonard - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer
Polly Leonard, MSW RSW (she/her/hers)
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer
Bancroft House, Room 103
Wolfville, NS, B4P 2R6