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SCDSB Embraces Equity and Inclusivity with D’Souza Presentations

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November 19, 2015 - “I want you to be nice to me…because I’m UNIQUE, I’m different from the rest…because I’m UNIQUE, and I deserve respect!” Simple yet powerful words are being sung by both students and staff at the Sudbury Catholic District School Board as all four secondary schools, several elementary schools, as well as all staff at the November 16th Professional Activity Day had the opportunity to listen to Equity and Inclusivity Activist Chris D’Souza perform his song “Unique” and listen to his impactful presentation.

D’Souza has taught at both elementary and secondary levels, and was the Equity and Diversity Officer for 5 years with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board. Currently teaching part time with this board, D’Souza has conducted over 5000 Equity and Anti-Oppression workshops to educations, Law Enforcement, Community Services, Corrections Officers, Corporate Institutions, as well as thousands of students. He is also the founder of the Equity Summit Group, a collaborative of over 26 school board equity representatives in Ontario. D’Sousa is also the author of three books, which address common stereotypes and are being used in over 6000 schools, in over 7 countries.

With it being Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week (November 15-20), the timing was perfect with D’Sousa kicking off the week for all SCDSB staff at St. Charles College with his very powerful and engaging presentation. With guitar in hand, D’Souza read aloud his stories, and the songs got the groups out of their seats. The message was clear, equity and inclusivity is the only option, anything else is not tolerated. This same message was shared with Sudbury Catholic students at over 10 schools during his three-day visit. Jennifer Connelly, Assistive Technology teacher with the board, accompanied D’Souza to each of the venues, and was absolutely moved by the impact he had on his multiple audiences. “From our staff P.A. day, to the younger elementary students, to the older secondary students, Chris’s message of equity resonated with every single group.” Connelly stated. “ We are very fortunate as a board that we have a senior administration team that recognizes the importance of equity and inclusivity in our schools, and provide such tremendous opportunities like having Chris D’Souza present to students and staff. We know from a parent perspective and staff perspective, we are supporting safe and inclusive learning environments for their children, as well as for all staff.”

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