Equity Matters

Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity

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Hello, summer!

In recognition of how busy this academic year has been, we truly hope that everyone in the Limestone community has the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate over the summer months.

This issue of Equity Matters is simply a summary of the issues shared throughout the 2022-2023 school year. In addition, links have been provided to additional websites that support both equity understanding and well-being.

Thank you for all you do, in your roles, cultivating inclusivity in the Limestone community.

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September: Inclusion

September: This month, we welcome many employees back to their workspaces!

Understandably, learning spaces are buzzing with an eagerness to jump into new projects connected to this 2022-2023 academic year. However, within this refreshed start, there is also an additional opportunity to reconnect with, and learn about, each other in meaningful, collaborative ways.

This issue is dedicated to exploring how LDSB can collectively deepen our understanding and commitment to cultivating inclusive spaces where everyone feels valued and respected.

October: Appreciation

October: The month of October intentionally holds space to recognize, celebrate and learn from the past and present contributions/experiences of multiple identities and cultural heritages, including Hispanic Latin-American Heritage Month, Islamic History Month, Learning Disability Awareness Month, LGBT History Month, Women's History Month.

October also hosts extremely important days of religious, cultural, and commemorative significance, such as Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Diwali, and Bandi Chhor Divas.

With the intention of cultivating spaces where everyone can not only see that their lived experiences and identity are valued and celebrated, but also feel that same inclusiveness, October provides so many opportunities to deepen collective understanding and appreciation for each other, in meaningful and connective ways.


November: The Act(ion) of Knowing

November: Limestone endeavors to cultivate spaces where everyone can work and learn free of discrimination, however, we recognize there is still a lot of work to be done. There is also an acknowledgment of the urgency to confront and address all instances of prejudice that impact staff and students.

This issue identifies ways in which we can work together to ensure everyone in our school community feels safe, supported, and valued.

December: Wellness

December: December is an opportunity to reflect on the year coming to a close; and, what a year, it has been!

If you are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, you have legitimate reasons. After all, the Collins Dictionary word of the year for 2022 is "permacrisis", a term that describes ‘an extended period of instability and insecurity’. Everyone has been through so much these past few years, and it is important to notice and name the emotional and physical toll this uncertainty has left us with.

This issue of Equity Matters is dedicated to you, and the hopes that you find time to rest and rejuvenate over the break. Hopefully, the materials included here are helpful while prioritizing the well-being of you and your loved ones.

January: Cultivating Cultural Humility

January: This issue explores learning aimed to enhance Limestone's commitment to developing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion understanding beyond "Cultural Competence", shifting to mindsets rooted in building capacity in "Cultural Humility".

This connects to significant dates of reflection in January. International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27th), and Day of Remembrance for the Quebec City Mosque Attack (Jan. 29th) both demonstrate the urgency to confront & counter Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and all instances of hate in LDSB spaces and beyond.

In this "Equity Matters," we will also highlight ways in which LDSB's new partnership with CCDI (Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion) can support continuation and growth in individual and collaborative equity journeys.

Image from: https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Cultural-humility-tool-for-school-staff.pdf)

February/March: Listening

February/March: This issue is dedicated to the power of listening.

This is an opportunity for Limestone staff to truly listen to LDSB community members' perspectives on both current events and the next steps Limestone can collaboratively take to continue building inclusive spaces where everyone's identity is represented & valued.

A future where everyone can see themselves in Limestone.

April/May: Belonging

April/May: LDSB aims to cultivate spaces where everyone sees themselves. Equitable practices grounded in inclusion and diversity are the essential bricks and mortar necessary to build that solid sense of belonging. Using guiding questions as the roots of this growth, we will explore some collaborative opportunities to cultivate mutually shared and respected spaces, where all identities thrive with pride!
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As part of LDSB's partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), we have access to the following summer webinars:

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To help you better understand what self-care is and isn’t, Canadian Mental Health Association laid out some popular myths and facts

Article: What is self-care? Myths and facts

To help you carve out time for self-care, and to help you make yourself a priority, CMHA developed a printable guide. Download it here.

From School Mental Health Ontario:

Rest, rejuvenate and recharge, because you deserve it!

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The LDSB Equity team is excited to continue working with both staff and students, providing resources and spaces that foster a strong sense of belonging, so everyone can see themselves in Limestone!

Please do not hesitate to contact us; we look forward to working with you!

Yusuf Abdulkareem

Human Rights & Equity Officer

Rachael McDonald

K-8 Equity & Inclusion Consultant

Andrea Barrow

7-12 Equity & Inclusion Consultant