Equity Matters

September 2021

Building Community

With the September reentry into shared spaces within the Limestone community, there could be gravitation to slip back into pre-pandemic routines and habits. One regularly overhears conversations related to "returning to normal" practices and back to the "usual" ways of doing things.

What would happen if we looked at this year from a different angle?

What would happen if we returned to collaborative spaces with an emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion?

What would happen if we took the necessary time to get to know each other, identifying connections and setting the foundation for a strong sense of belonging?

Together, let's take the necessary time needed to check in on and learn from each other, lifting each other up through meaningful connections and collective action.

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Learn more about September's "High Holy Days" for Jewish People

Rosh Hashanah, meaning “head of the year” or “first of the year,” is the Jewish New Year, and commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe.

The exact date of Rosh Hashanah varies every year, since it is based on the Hebrew Calendar, where it begins on the first day of the seventh month. A common greeting to mark this occasion of Rosh Hashanah is “Shanah Tovah”, which means “Good Year.”

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement and is considered the holiest day in the Jewish faith.

It marks the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, a period of introspection and repentance. The holiday is observed by fasting from sunset to sunset and a religious service at the synagogue.

International Week of Deaf People

"According to the World Health Organization, more than 5% of the world’s population has ‘disabling’ hearing loss, which requires rehabilitation, support and/or advocacy. Additionally, more than 1 billion young adults are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. It is estimated that more than 700 million people – or 1/10 people – will have disabling hearing loss by 2050.

When unaddressed, hearing loss can impact individuals in various ways, including their communication and speech, cognition, education and employment opportunities, social isolation, and mental health.

Read more: Study: The impact of hearing loss on mental health

To support those with hearing loss around the world, you can take action into your own hands. Here are a few things you can do :

    1. Learn sign language
    2. Share stories from deaf creators
    3. Support deaf businesses
    4. Learn about d/Deaf culture
    5. Join a d/Deaf group (ie: Phonak hEARos)
    6. Advocate deaf accessibility at work and in your community
    7. Volunteer at non-profits, civil liberties groups, or schools for the Deaf
    8. Contact your representatives to support the rights of deaf people through legislation"

From: https://www.hearinglikeme.com/deaf-awareness-month-september-2021/

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Orange Shirt Day/National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30th, 2021)

Purchasing Orange Shirt Day items from Indigenous-owned businesses where proceeds are going towards the Indigenous community, is a great way to show solidarity and support to Indigenous creators.

Please be aware that some corporations, organizations, and businesses are selling Orange Shirt Day items with no commitment or proceeds going to Indigenous communities or Residential School survivors.

Here is a list of some great places to purchase from:

What is the Difference Between the terms: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

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Misconceptions About the Term "Diversity"

"There’s a tendency to refer to people, or a person, as “diverse.” Even with the best intentions, referring to people this way feels a lot like a euphemism for “outside the majority,” or “different from the dominant group.” This framing of diversity is misleading at best because it assumes we’re all the same. At worst, it’s a damaging oversimplification that alienates people, rather than include them."

"Blanket treatment of diversity doesn’t work because all perceptions of diversity are the same."

"It’s important to remember that diversity is less about what makes people different—their race, socioeconomic status, and so on—and more about understanding, accepting and valuing those differences."

From: https://ideal.com/diversity-equity-inclusion/

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Moving from an Equity Lens to a Justice Lens

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Misconeptons About the Term "Inclusion"

"There’s a common misconception that environments in which diversity and equity are priorities naturally beget inclusion. You’ve built equitable practices into your organizational processes, after all, leading to far more diverse, well-represented teams. People have to feel included in a company like this, right?

Not always, as it turns out.

Inclusion is the extent to which various team members, employees, and other people feel a sense of belonging and value within a given organizational setting. The important distinction here is that even among the most diverse teams, there’s not always a feeling of inclusion. "

From: https://ideal.com/diversity-equity-inclusion/

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Inclusion Starts With I

About this Video

This all started with our employees being courageous enough to have a conversation about what it means to truly feel included and a sense of belonging at work,”

“This began as a way to spark discussion within our company about belonging and bias…and it touched our people deeply, helping them realize that bias can appear in both expected and unexpected ways.”

From: https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-acquisition/why-creating-sense-of-belonging-is-gateway-to-diversity-and-inclusion

With Equity, Diveristy and Inclusion Work Comes The Importance of Intersectionality

What is intersectionality?

Are you Interested in Learning More about Anti-Bias and Anti-Racism Leadership?

The Equity Literacy Institute virtual series, Becoming Antiracist returns in November

Cost starts at $50, which covers 4 75-minute sessions with amazing anti-bias and anti-racist educators and leaders. We offer certificates of completion for people needing CEUs, too.



Reflection of the Month: What Actions Could You Take to Help Ensure Those Around You Feel Valued?

Kelly Clarkson (in collaboration with Deaf West Theatre) "I Dare You" ASL Version

Equity Matters: Equity and Anti-Racism Supports and Resources

As Limestone District School Board employees, we are all a part of this learning journey. If you have ideas about future equity topics or terminology, please contact Rae McDonald.