Pride Month: Sign up to learn how to help create safer spaces on campus in support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community 

the rainbow flag on university hall, alongside text that says

A free virtual session will offer leading practices, information and allyship tips to help create a more supportive environment for students and colleagues. 

McMaster community members who want to help create a safer and inclusive environment for students and colleagues can attend a free virtual session this month, organized by the Equity and Inclusion Office in partnership with Human Resources and Student Affairs.  

Facilitators Christine Hsu (she/her + they/them) and Sookie Bardwell (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs) of Challenge Accepted, an organization that focuses on equity and inclusion, will lead the “Creating Safer and Inclusive Campuses for 2SLGBTQIA+ people/communities” Lunch and Learn workshop.  

They will draw on their personal experiences as nonbinary individuals and their professional roles at postsecondary campuses to provide effective strategies and valuable insights to create safer spaces. 

Moderated by Eve Nyambiya, the Anti-Black Racism Education and Programs Coordinator at McMaster, the workshop will offer McMaster staff, faculty and students a foundational understanding of diverse identities, experiences, key concepts and terms.  

It’s also an opportunity to learn tips on allyship to better support colleagues and students and foster a more inclusive and safe environment. 

Opening remarks will be delivered by Maggie Pooran, Executive Director, Health, Safety, Well-Being & Labour Relations. 

What: Creating Safer and Inclusive Campuses for 2SLGBTQIA+ people/communities virtual session

When: Monday, June 17, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Click here to register for this free online event 

About the facilitators 

circular headshot of Sookie BardwellSookie Bardwell (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs) is a McMaster grad and former residence Don who is passionately committed to the work of helping people be better together. She is a white settler invested in the work of decolonization and racial justice. She is also a fat, queer, genderqueer femme living with invisible disability. Her work is informed by all of these ways in which she moves through the world.

Bardwell is an Ontario College of Teachers certified teacher, has been certified as a sex and relational health educator through Options for Sexual Health BC, and holds a MA in Gender Studies and Feminist Research from McMaster. She has been involved in social change/justice work for almost twenty years, and has extensive experience as an educator, trainer and facilitator — with a focus on LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion, Body Liberation, emotional competency, relational skills and sexual health. She believes everyone deserves to be treated like a person, and that everyone deserves access to — and has the capacity to develop — the knowledge and skills needed to encounter difference with compassion, kindness and genuine curiosity.

Circular headshot of Christine HsuChristine Hsu (she/her + they/them) is a first-generation immigrant settler invested in dismantling white supremacy culture and committed to facilitating relational healing work across communities with the goal for tenderness and exploration of what it looks/sounds/feels like to thrive. They are also a genderfluid queer woman of colour, living with invisible disability, which heavily informs their intersectional and trauma-informed approach to the work they do.

They are an experienced coach, facilitator/trainer and advocate for social change through social justice liberation work across all contexts and levels. Their experiences range from working in grassroots community spaces to working in EDI in leadership across the non-profit sector, health care, education (including higher education) and corporate sectors. Specifically in higher education, they have worked across contexts, including student academic, student life and residence programs. More recently, they worked at Humber College and they worked to support student and staff well being on campus, delivering human rights and sexual violence prevention and support education. The student programming included programming for 2SLGBTQIA+ students across intersections of identities, and empowering student leaders and student staff to engage in equity-centred initiatives and EDI education.

Hsu’s subject matter expertise ranges from EDI & human rights to adult learning and organizational development, and specifically anti-racism and trans and nonbinary inclusion in sports. They are an Ontario certified educator and conflict mediator with a Bachelor of Physical & Health Education from University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Education from Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, and an Adult Education Certificate from St. Francis Xavier University.

Click here to learn more about Pride events and supports at McMaster.

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