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Pride, safety, inclusion: Dal celebrates Respect Week

Respect Week: September 26-30

- September 23, 2016

Dal students Tofunmi Adesanya and Faiza Nauman celebrating Respect Week. (Nick Pearce photo)
Dal students Tofunmi Adesanya and Faiza Nauman celebrating Respect Week. (Nick Pearce photo)

What does it mean to be respected — at work, at school or in our broader community? How can we all work towards making Dalhousie a place in which everyone feels safe, proud and included?

These are the sorts of questions that staff, faculty and student leaders are hoping to raise next week with the university’s second-annual Respect Week. Taking place from September 26-30, the week features various events that celebrate diversity and inclusion and allow for reflection on everyone’s shared responsibility for establishing and maintaining a culture of respect on campus.

“What is great about Respect Week is that people are not just coming together to celebrate, they are coming together to learn,” says Jackie Dowling, education advisor with Dal’s Human Rights, Equity & Harassment Prevention office and one of the co-chairs of the Respect Week committee. “It’s about learning how pride, safety and inclusion do not always look they same for everyone. And it is when we take individual people, experiences and identities into consideration that we make real strides towards a culture of respect at Dalhousie.”

The origins of Respect Week date back to the university’s annual Pink Day, an event that builds off similar events across Canada in which individuals wear pink to stand against bullying. Dalhousie’s been hosting Pink Day events each September for several years now, and this year is no different: faculty, staff and students are encouraged to wear pink or pick up a pink “#DalRespect” button on Thursday, September 29 and attend events happening across all four campuses, including BBQs, cake and more.

Full schedule: dal.ca/respectweek

But Respect Week doesn’t just start and end with Pink Day. The Black Student Advising Centre and Multifaith Centre are hosting a motivation talk by Tracey Powell, vice-president of Walt Disney Resorts and Parks. The Centre for Learning and Teaching is hosting workshops on respect, collaboration and supporting transgender students. And on the Ag Campus, a “World Coffee Café” will explore respect for the environment and for farmers through a conversation all about coffee.

As well, Dal Get REAL is hosting a series of activities, including “Compliments Day” on Monday and Respect in Res sessions, safe spaces in which to talk about gender, sexual identity and creating an inclusive environment at Dal.

"Get REAL Dal is one of the many groups that work hard to promote a culture of respect and support around our campus and city all year long," says Get REAL coordinator Mike Murray. "Respect Week provides a series of fun and engaging opportunities for all of us to talk about pride, safety and inclusion on campus, and what these things mean on an individual level."

See the full Respect Week schedule and details on all planned events at dal.ca/respectweek.


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