Employees, alumni and students rally in support of the SAIT Pride Award
“I am part of SAIT’s Pride at SAIT Committee which includes volunteer faculty and staff. We are involved in a lot of LGBTQ+ activities on campus and in the community including SAIT’s Pride Crosswalk. We also organize the Rainbow Reception every year as well as SAIT's Pride Week activities, and we organize our entry in the City of Calgary's Pride Parade.
“The Pride at SAIT Committee is made up of a generous and hardworking group of people and our support is growing. In the past three years we've seen a significant change in the amount of students and staff who self-identify as LGBTQ+ and it seems like we're really getting traction.
“We noticed a need for more incentives for students to get on board with inclusion initiatives, specifically when it came to LGBTQ. We wanted to put an award in place that would recognize champions who are already doing great things and to give others something to aspire to. That’s why we established the SAIT Pride Award.
“We held a used clothing sale and raised almost the entire amount for the first award. Then the Alumni and Development department helped out with the Giving Day campaign. The money we raised was matched through donations from staff, students and alumni and we ended up with $3,000 so we have three years’ worth of awards.
“Giving Day has made the SAIT Pride Award a sustainable, long-term scholarship, and with multiple years of funding secured, we can continue to reward students who move the needle forward on LGBTQ+ inclusion and encourage others to get involved.
“We're seeing more and more of a network of people who are on board and they're trying to find ways to get involved. Maybe it's not marching in the parade, maybe it's not being a committee member, but it is donating money to something that we care about.
“Ensuring everyone has a fair chance to access, participate and succeed in all that SAIT has to offer is one of the many ways the institution can future-proof itself and thrive in its endeavors for the next 100 years.”
John Partington, Associate Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT
Champion a cause
Through initiatives like the Pride at SAIT Committee, SAIT staff, alumni, students and partners can be champions and catalysts for a cause. Our community’s investment in LGBTQ+ students at SAIT can positively impact students experience by building a place where they feel they belong and can be their authentic selves openly.
On Oct. 15, SAIT invites our community to be champions for learning, excellence, community or change through Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising challenge that serves as a launchpad for the ongoing success of student supports and opportunities.