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Olds College Continues to Celebrate Pride

June 02, 2023

pride-2023-crosswalk.jpegBeing the beginning of Pride Month, Olds College of Agriculture & Technology renews our commitment to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion on our campus. We are proud of the progress we have made in fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates the LGBTQIA2S+ community and supports and welcomes all members of our campus community.

In June 2022, Olds College celebrated a significant milestone with the installation of the first pride crosswalk in Olds, Alta. This vibrant symbol of inclusivity, located between Centennial Village and the Dining Elements Hall, was commemorated with a grand opening event on Sept. 2, 2022.

Unfortunately, throughout the past year, the crosswalk became a target of hateful vandalism, resulting in extensive damage to the material and asphalt – delays to repairs only added to the pain for many in our community.

“College leadership recognizes the pain and frustration these actions have caused for the LGBTQIA2S+ community and we extend our sincerest apologies and also appreciation for their patience and guidance,” shares Lauren Grant, Interim Chief, People & Culture. “Olds College desires to be a safe and inclusive environment for the entire community, including staff members and students, and we will learn from our experiences to ensure our words and actions align.”

To address this issue and promote healing and education, the Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee at Olds College consulted with OC Pride, students, faculty and staff to determine the best course of action. After careful consideration, the damaged crosswalk has been removed and replaced with a regular crosswalk. 

The College’s commitment to inclusivity remains unwavering. In light of recent events, Olds College has invested in a display of support near the crosswalk location. The windows of Centennial Village now showcase a vibrant rainbow artwork, hand-painted by local artist Kristi Rispin-Olderskog from Happy Designs Creations. This exhibit will serve as a transitional placeholder until a permanent installation is in place symbolizing our dedication to creating a campus-wide visual representation that embraces inclusion and fosters respect for all communities.

“The installation of this artwork serves as a powerful reminder that hate will never prevail on our campus or in our community,” eloquently states Trina Radcliffe, Chair of the EDI Committee. “It symbolizes our commitment to creating an inclusive respectful environment for everyone at Olds College.”

At Olds College, we remain committed to being an inclusive, respectful and healthy place to work and learn. Acts of hate will never be tolerated and they will not dictate how we support and welcome our students, staff, faculty and guests onto our campus. We will continue to engage in important conversations, cultivate understanding and offer support to all members of our campus community.

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