Red Deer College raised a rainbow flag and showcased a painted crosswalk as an unofficial kickoff to Central Alberta Pride Week, which starts Sunday.
“I want to emphasize the fact that RDC is committed to a learning environment where everyone feels respected and welcomed,” said RDC president Peter Nunoda at Friday’s ceremony.
“Inclusiveness is one of RDC’s principle values and diversity strengthens the experiences of our students, faculty, staff, employees and our college community.”
Lenny Gallant, Central Alberta Pride Society board chair, thanked the college for its work supporting diversity and the LGBTQ+ community.
“The flag raising and crosswalk is just another step in showing the community that there are allies who support them and value them, as well as providing a safe space for students and the community at large,” said Gallant shortly before the flag raising.
“We can’t thank RDC enough for all the work they do for our community.”
Brittany Lausen, RDC students’ association president, said they are proud to be behind the first rainbow crossing at the college.
“We believe together as a community, we need to stand up against hate and discrimination and that starts with actions,” said Lausen.
While there is a long way to go before discrimination is eliminated against the LGBTQ+ community, college students, staff and faculty are doing what they can.
“As a students’ association, we want to do our part to make sure our members feel included and have a safe place to learn,” she said.
“We want students to know that Red Deer College is that safe place for them.”