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Community Inspired by Equity Advocate

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Rainbow DSB Superintendent Lesleigh Dye and Sudbury Catholic Superintendent Rossella Bagnato stand with Equity and Inclusivity Advocate and Educator Chris D'Souza recently.

March 27, 2011 - On Thursday, March 24, staff from both the Sudbury Catholic District School Board and the Rainbow District School Board were given the opportunity to attend a workshop with Chris D’Souza on Building Inclusive Schools and Communities. Approximately 300 teachers, administrators, Education Assistants and community members attended the presentation at the Holiday Inn to listen to D’Souza’s important message about the eradication of discrimination in our communities.

Christopher D’Souza is a passionate advocate on this topic and has presented over 2500 lectures and workshops with a focus on human rights and inclusion to educators, law enforcement officials and health care professionals across Canada.

D’Souza has taught at the elementary, secondary and university levels and is currently teaching at the Faculty of Education, York University. D’Souza is the author of “Empowerism: A lifestyle Guide to Environmental Ethics” and a children’s book entitled “Why are all the Taxi Drivers…?”

Through his own experiences, D’Souza was able to illustrate his powerful message with stories about racism and dealing with stereotypes. He challenged the audience to look at situations that are unfair and determine what they could do to make a difference and bring about change. “I want children to grow up in a world where there is no discrimination, a world that realizes that there is just one race – the human race,” D’Souza said.

During his presentation in Sudbury, numerous case studies were provided to demonstrate how trustees, administrators and educators, parents/guardians and community members can continue to build on good current practices to make schools more inclusive. Other factors impacting school boards were also explored, such as immigration trends and poverty as well as closing the achievement gap by creating inclusive curriculum.

D’Souza prompted the audience to “Rage againstt inequity, and to foster self esteem with their students.” And encouraged the audience to “highlight what we have in common, and showcase what we have that is unique.”
Rossella Bagnato, Sudbury Catholic Superintendent closed the event by thanking D’Souza for sharing his expertise with the group as he is “not only an expert on equity and inclusive education, he is a role model that all leaders can aspire to.” Bagnato asked all to take back to their school communities D’Souza’s belief that all children “should be protected and valued, and above all, children should be loved.”

Both the Sudbury Catholic District School Board and the Rainbow District School Board are implementing Equity and Inclusive Education policies in accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines.

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