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CEO's message on Pride Month


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June 8, 2021

June marks Pride Month, and at ICES we mark it annually to celebrate 2SLGBTQ+ staff and scientists.

We are proud to be part of an organization that believes in ongoing efforts to build an ever-more inclusive community, and wants 2SLGBTQ+ staff and scientists to feel supported and embraced, both professionally and personally. 

Pride is meant to be joyous and it should be, but this year it coincides with a series of tragic and horrible events which make it harder to celebrate anything. Sunday’s horrific hate crime in London, Ontario, where four members of a Muslim family were murdered, the recent discovery of 215 undocumented Indigenous children buried on the grounds of a residential school in Kamloops, BC, and the sentencing yesterday of a man who caused the death of an Indigenous woman in Thunder Bay. And so many other daily acts of racism and exclusion. Sometimes it feels like it is too much to bear, but we cannot turn away from it.

Where can we find hope? Perhaps it is indeed in Pride month. The origins of Pride were as a protest movement against state and societal violence and oppression of 2SLGBTQ+, and over the course of several decades as a society we have made tremendous strides in reducing these, though there is much more to be done.  We must redouble our efforts to make similar progress against hate, racism and oppression in all the forms it takes in Canada.

As part of the ICES community, we all have to continue to learn and listen. The recently formed Diversity working group aims to foster an ICES culture that is safe and inclusive with equitable opportunities for diverse voices and experiences. We have partnered with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) to provide us with tools, knowledge and information, and education to create more a more inclusive workplace.

Please visit https://ccdi.ca/knowledge-repository-registration/ to register for access to the CCDI platform, if you haven’t already done so.

To those in the ICES community feeling pain right now due to these events, know that your ICES friends and colleagues grieve along with you. Reach out to each other, talk to each other and listen to each other. And find hope in Pride Month, as an affirmation and a celebration of the positive change that is possible as we work together toward a more inclusive and loving Canada. 

Michael Schull MSc, MD, FRCPC
CEO, ICES

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