Diversity and Inclusion
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June 2022

Inclusivity can mean a number of different things. Usually, it refers to including and considering those who are often excluded or marginalized—this can involve race, religion, sexuality, gender,  ethnicity, and varying levels of ability. Creating inclusive environments makes the world a better place by ensuring that everyone feels welcome. Often, inclusivity is discussed in workplaces, schools, organizations and other public spaces, but inclusivity can also be taught within your family and your household.

Inclusive Education
Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school. It is about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, programs and activities so that all students learn and participate together.
In this image it is assumed that everyone will benefit from the same supports. They are treated equally.
In this image, individuals are given different supports to make it possible for them to have equal access to the game. They are being treated equitably.
In this image, all 3 can see the game without any supports because the cause of the inequity was addressed. The systemic barrier has been removed.
Inclusive education allows all students to:

- Develop individual strengths and gifts, with high and appropriate expectations for each child.

- Work on individual goals while participating in the life of the classroom with other students their own age.
- Involve their parents in their education and in the activities of their local schools.

- Foster a school culture of respect and belonging. Inclusive education provides opportunities to learn about and accept individual differences, lessening the impact of harassment and bullying.

- Develop friendships with a wide variety of other children, each with their own individual needs and abilities.

- Positively affect both their school and community to appreciate diversity and inclusion.
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B.C. has embraced a curriculum based on competency. At the heart of this approach is nurturing self-determination within ALL learners. Every student has the right to set goals, make plans, make mistakes, reflect on their learning, and recognize their growth and effort. 
Families can explore the concepts of Inclusion by: 

- Asking your teen if they understand the difference between equality, equity and inclusion
- Looking for examples of inclusion in your school and community
- Watching the videos provided in the Snapshot together and discuss as a family
- Finding something actionable you can do as a family to support inclusion

Systemic Racism
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Systemic racism, also known as institutional racism, refers to the ways that white superiority becomes embedded in an institution, resulting in a system that advantages White people and disadvantages Indigenous or people of colour. Most notably in employment, education, justice, and social participation.
In a settler colonial state like Canada, systemic racism is rooted in every system of this country. This means the systems put in place were designed to benefit white settlers while disadvantaging the Indigenous populations who had lived here prior to the settlers. This power dynamic continues to be reinforced in our society today.
Steps to Address Systemic Racism
Reflect. Accepting that racism lives within our society is an important first step. Reflect on the ways systemic racism has impacted you and your perspectives. The experiences of marginalized groups can also vary, so don‘t forget to consider intersectionality when you think about different ways groups face discrimination. 
You may feel uncomfortable, but this sets a strong foundation for you to explore the racial discrimination and challenge your notions of race and culture.
Educate. In order to move forward, it is essential to confront our past with racism in our country. Understanding Canada‘s history with racism provides us with the necessary foundation to the fight against injustice.

As you learn more, ask yourself the following questions: How have the laws changed? Is the targeted group still experiencing the effects of this event today? Were you familiar with this historical event? If not, what is the significance of you not knowing about this event?
Speak up. Challenge yourself and your communities by bringing conversations into your spaces. Talking about racism is no easy task, but your ability to have more meaningful and productive conversations will grow as you practice more. For more guidance on this topic read the article in the Resource section entitled The Four Steps to Navigating Difficult Conversations about Racism.
Below are some resources that can extend understanding of racism. The list is by no means exhaustive. 

13th (Netflix)
When They See US (Netflix)...

SOGI stands for sexual orientation and gender identity. As we all have a sexual orientation and gender identity, it includes all of us. Everyone understands and expresses their gender differently, with interests and choices that are more or less common for their gender. Some students may be unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Others may identify specifically as lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit or other. A SOGI-inclusive school means all of these experiences and identities are welcomed and should never be cause for discrimination. 
Schools have the legal responsibility to create safe, inclusive learning environments for all students. Unfortunately some 2SLGBTQ+ youth or those who come from 2SLGBTQ+ families don't always experience school as safe or welcoming.
We want all children to thrive within their schools and communities. At home, you can be curious and explore SOGI topics with your youth.

Open up the conversation by allowing them to express, and explore their individuality, and by inviting them to talk openly about their experiences at school.
Share the values of acceptance and respecting people's differences through your own actions among friends and neighbours. 

By encouraging inclusivity in your household, you‘re encouraging inclusivity on a wider scale as well. Raising respectful, knowledgeable, and empathetic members of society helps to foster a better world for everyone.
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SOGI 123  Parent Resources - Secondary 

June Secondary School Poster
Exposure to different people is an important practice and can normalize diversity.  However research shows that regular proximity to individuals that are different from you does not automatically result in inclusion. In other words, inclusion is not a natural consequence of diversity.

Inclusion is the active engagement and participation of all people. It requires an intentional focus on creating an environment in which any individual or group feels welcomed and able to fully contribute.

Students may be accepting of the many different individuals at school, however they may not be inclusive. This poster demonstrates the difference between diversity and inclusion in a setting familiar to youth.
We Hope You Are Enjoying the Snapshots!
This is our last Snapshot for the 2021-22 school year!

We strive to create a quality newsletter that supports parents and caregivers in the most  challenging and most rewarding job of raising children!
We will resume the Snapshots in September 2022, until then we hope you and your family have a summer filled with all things that bring you joy!

If you would like to share any final feedback for this year, we would love to hear from you!

Resources and Sources

Read Previous Snapshots Here!
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