Each June, York University joins communities across Canada and around the world as we mark Pride Month and reaffirm our commitment to the University’s values of equity, inclusion and diversity. Through our research, scholarship, teaching and creative endeavours, York is dedicated to creating campus environments where all feel accepted and are empowered to reach their fullest potential.
This month is also an important time to reflect on the challenges queer communities have faced across the years, and to think critically about allyship in today’s world. These issues demand and deserve our attention, and they speak to York’s distinct identity and vision in offering a diverse student population access to a high-quality, research-intensive university that is committed to the social, economic, cultural and other well-being of society.
Throughout the month, we look forward to highlighting members of our community who have championed initiatives to support queer communities both locally and globally. These include the Hall of Justice poster program, which honours LGBTQ heroes from across the city and was coordinated by alumnus John Caffery to engage youth in social change and support creative responses to oppression. Professor Nancy Nicol of the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design recently donated a documentary collection, which includes watershed civil rights moments, to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. And last month, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, York alumna Susan Gapka was recognized for her longtime advocacy by Mayor John Tory, becoming the first trans person to be presented with a Key to the City.
York University provides a variety of services and resources for the LGBTQ community, and you can learn more about them here: rights.info.yorku.ca/lgbtq-campus-organizations.
I wish you all a happy Pride Month.
Rhonda L. Lenton
President & Vice-Chancellor