Equity Matters

October 2022

Appreciation in 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.

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What is the Difference between Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation?

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"Appreciation signals that we recognize the value and worth of a different culture’s traditions. It means we are striving for a fuller understanding of its historical and cultural implications and ramifications. Appreciation means we’re using it as a learning experience to enrich our own perspectives and to connect with PEOPLE of different cultures. It’s a way for us to center their voices and experiences, and use that to inform our own understanding."

"Appropriation, on the other hand, involves taking aspects of another culture out of context, and using it for personal interest, benefit, or financial gain. It exploits aspects of another culture for your own benefit. This is especially harmful to groups that have been

marginalized, and whose cultures and resources have been attacked."

"Cultural appreciation vs. appropriation can seem confusing at first, but in essence, it boils down to one thing: respect. Do you understand the meaning behind what you are doing, and do you respect it? Treat another culture/religion/history as you would want others to treat your own."

Excerpts From: https://www.localpassportfamily.com/2020/06/tips-for-cultural-appreciation-vs-appropriation.html

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Here are some tips and guiding questions, to differentiate between appropriation and appreciation:

Educate Yourself & Listen

QUESTION: Do I understand the history of this symbol/experience?

Ask Questions and Check Your Biases

QUESTIONS: How can I push past my fear of not knowing or asking the wrong thing? How can I de-center myself in order to focus on truth? Am I leading with bias or with openness and humility?

Be Humble, Accept the Correction

QUESTIONS: Is someone from within the culture telling me something is off? If so, how can I reevaluate my actions? How can I open myself to their insights and incorporate their perspective? Am I signaling gratitude for their education?

Check Your Sources

QUESTIONS: Am I seeking out own voice perspectives, or is my information filtered through the lens of someone else who is a cultural outsider?

Seek Multiple Perspectives

QUESTION: Do I recognize that cultures are multifaceted with vastly varying experiences?

Consider your Setting

QUESTIONS: Am I appreciating this aspect of a culture in an appropriate setting? Do I understand how my actions connect to the setting?

Excerpts From: https://www.localpassportfamily.com/2020/06/tips-for-cultural-appreciation-vs-appropriation.html

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With Halloween Approaching, Remember Cultures are not Costumes

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"Around Halloween, cultural appropriation often manifests in the form of wearing “costumes” that rely on specific culture signifiers or stereotypes. Dressing up as an ethnicity, race or culture that is not your own is problematic and racist, and it’s up to folks who are not impacted by those situations to work together to ensure that it doesn’t continue among our friend groups, families and communities."

From site and campaign by Laurier Students; Public Interest Research Group's

What is the Costume Campaign...And Why Do We Do It?"

Here is the link to the site:


My Culture Is NOT A Costume | Teen Vogue

History and Heritage Months:

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Quote by Timbrel Chyatee

1. History and heritage months are opportunities to centre, listen and learn from communities that have traditionally not had the same opportunities to share and celebrate their lived experiences and stories;

2. These months provide opportunities for communities to learn from each other beyond the dominant "eurocentric" norm, exploring events/experiences from different perspectives, deepening global understanding of the similarities and differences in lived experiences.

3. Lastly, these months provide opportunities to recognize the intersecting barriers different communities face, and share that awareness to work towards more equitable outcomes for all.

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When Honouring History and Heritage Months, It is important to Recognize Past and Present Contributions through an Intersectional Approach

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Help Build a Positive Workplace

If you have been subjected to harassment or discrimination, or if you witness an incident, please tell someone or report it.

Equity Matters: Equity and Anti-Racism Supports and Resources


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!

Andrea Barrow

7-12 Equity & Inclusion Consultant

613-544-6925 ext.213

Rachael McDonald
K-8 Equity & Inclusion Consultant

613-544-6925 ext. 213

Yusuf Abdulkareem

Human Rights & Equity Officer

613-544-6925 ext.256