What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Rainbow Schools host Embrace Diversity: Free To Be Me Conference

Rainbow District School Board will host its ninth symposium aimed at creating and enhancing school-based supports for students who are lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, questioning and two-spirited (LGTBQ2S) as well as students with friends and family members in these communities.

The Embrace Diversity: Free to Be Me Conference will take place on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Lexington Hotel and Conference Centre in Sudbury.

The day’s events will kick-off at 10 am with a keynote address from Sudbury native Brock McGillis. The former OHL goalie became the first professional hockey player to publicly come out as a gay man. His story has garnered national media coverage from major news outlets including CBC, Global News and Yahoo! Sports.

McGillis has quickly become an influential advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. He has delivered several presentations to schools and inclusivity training to businesses. McGillis’ mission is to create equality, regardless of sexuality, gender or race, and to encourage youth to shift their language, treat others with respect, and to be a support system for LGBTQ+ youth. McGillis currently studies Communications and Sports Administration at Laurentian University, and provides mentorship and training for elite level hockey players.

Throughout the day, students will take part in a variety of workshops, including Art, Yoga, Being an Ally, Here I Am: The Story Of How I Became Fabulous, Ancient History, Growth Mindset and Resilience, Healthy Sexuality, and Law & Rights.

School leaders, Athletic Council members, School Councils, Grade 7 and 8 students, and Gay Straight Alliances from Rainbow secondary schools will participate.

“This event is part of Rainbow District School Board’s ongoing efforts to make equity and inclusive education a priority for all,” says Superintendent Judy Noble. “Students come together to address issues and brainstorm solutions surrounding homophobia and transphobia in their schools and communities.”

She adds: “Once again, participants will walk away with important tools they can use for the benefit of all students in Rainbow Schools.”

Superintendent Noble praised the organizing committee for their efforts, including Patrick Hopkin, Kristina Rivard Gobbo, Calvin Makela, Kimberly Lawson, Sandy MacEwan and Andrew Ferri.


Media Contact:

Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171, ext. 7217.