Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on Campus

News and Events

Why Do You Need a Parade? A Pride Month Presentation

June 6, 2024

RRC Polytech is honoured once again to welcome Jonathan Niemczak to speak with the community as part of our Pride Month celebrations.

Jonathan, Chair and President of the Canadian Pride Historical Society (CPHS) will provide an overview of the historical events that lead to the start of the Pride Movement in Canada and Winnipeg.

Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location:

  • In person: Roundhouse Auditorium (Second Floor), Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, Exchange District Campus, Red River College Polytechnic, 319 Elgin Avenue
    • Please note that in-person capacity is limited – register now to save your spot!
    • Light refreshments will be provided for in-person attendees.
    • View the interactive map of the Exchange District Campus.
  • Online via Zoom

About Jonathan Niemczak
Jonathan Niemczak is the Chair and President of the Canadian Pride Historical Society (CPHS), a national non-profit organization dedicated to documenting and telling the story of the history of the Pride Movement in Canada. Before founding CPHS, Jonathan was the President of the Pride Winnipeg Festival, where he served on the Board of Directors for ten years and led the organization for six. At Pride Winnipeg, he identified a significant gap in the collective knowledge about the origins of Pride in Winnipeg and Pride in other Canadian communities. This insight drove him to establish the Canadian Pride Historical Society, ensuring the preservation of Pride Movement history for future generations. Jonathan is passionate about 2SLGBT+ history and committed to fostering greater awareness and appreciation of the community’s rich heritage. His work ensures that these important stories are not lost to time, highlighting the significance of the Pride Movement in Canada’s social and cultural landscape.

At RRC Polytech strive to host inclusive events. If you require accommodation, please email diversity@rrc.ca.

RRC Polytech’s Personalized Pride Design

May 29, 2024

RRC Polytech is committed to enacting Truth and Reconciliation and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in everything we do. A big part of this commitment is creating representative and inclusive spaces on our campuses.

To visually represent our shared commitment and dedication to fostering safer spaces where all students, staff and visitors feel they belong, RRC Polytech created a personalized Pride design.

The design is an evolution of the Progress Pride flag* that includes representation for all 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) community members, and includes specific Indigenous elements.

*”Progress” Pride Flag by Daniel Quasar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Consultation Process

Each design element was subject to a consultation process with RRC Polytech’s Knowledge Keepers’ Council*, Students’ Association, and Gender and Sexual Diversity working group. The College also worked with the Rainbow Resource Centre on the evolution of the design.

*McLeod, A. Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and the Métis community of Norway House in northern Manitoba. Pride Flag Consultations – Knowledge Keepers Council meetings. April – June 2022.

Elements of Design

This evolution corresponds with the adoption of the 2SLGBTQIA+ acronym, leading with “2S” as an act of reconciliation and acknowledging that Indigenous people have a history and culture that honours and is inclusive of Two Spirit Peoples.

The triangle represents the badge that LGBT prisoners were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps. Its placement also forms a teepee, which is a shelter shape used historically by many First Nations people. The resulting arrow shows forward movement, while demonstrating progress still needs to be made.

The Medicine Wheel incorporates traditional Indigenous stories and teachings, while its purple and yellow borders honour intersex individuals. Each colour used in the design represents and holds an important meaning — from healing to sunlight, for example.

RRC Polytech's personalized Pride design
  • Lavender – Diversity
  • Hot pink – Sex
  • Red – Life
  • Orange – Healing
  • Yellow – Sunlight
  • Green – Nature
  • Turquoise – Magic
  • Indigo – Serenity
  • Violet – Spirit
  • Black & Brown – People of Colour
  • Light Blue & Pink – Transpeople
  • White – those living with HIV/AIDS

Where to Find the Design

RRC Polytech’s personalized Pride flag flies alongside the Treaty One and Red River Métis flags at the bus loop entrance of the Notre Dame Campus, as a symbol of unity, pride and inclusivity.

You can also find the design painted on walkways at our Notre Dame, Exchange District and Portage campuses, where it serves as a reminder of our shared values and the understanding that our work in making our campus community more equitable, diverse and inclusive has not finished.

For more information, including usage requests, contact diversity@rrc.ca.

Anti-Racism Resources

May 28, 2024

At RRC Polytech we recognize that diversity within our communities is one of our greatest strengths. We are committed to fostering working and learning environments that recognize and celebrate the diversity of our students and our staff. Together, we are working toward a place where we understand, embrace and uplift each other’s culture, and where all are welcomed for who they are, and for what we can build together.

RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Action Committee is a working group of motivated staff dedicated to addressing anti-racism through awareness, learning, events and initiatives that spark action and meaningful, positive change. The Committee has put together this resource list to help the College community in our journey towards anti-racism, by raising awareness and taking action.

As you read these resources, it would be helpful to refer to the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion’s (CCDI) Glossary of Terms, a reference tool for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility terminology. They define race as a social construct and anti-racism as an active effort to eliminate all forms of racism. Here are the definitions of some key terms referred to in these resources: 

  • Anti-racism is a conscious choice – it’s not the absence of racism, but rather the decision to actively condemn racism and recognize the impact it has on the people around us. There is no room for racism in any of our spaces and everyone is held with the same expectation to respect all people.  
  • Institutional racism is racism that is woven into policies and functions at the organizational and governmental levels – which affects people and opportunities broadly and to varying degrees. 
  • Intersectionality is recognizing how the identities of an individual can affect their experiences in different ways, particularly in matters that are impacted by discrimination. 

Training & Resources

  • Four Seasons of Reconciliation (For Employees): Four Seasons of Reconciliation is a training program offered to all staff and faculty as part of the College’s commitment to embed Truth and Reconciliation education. This multi-media PD initiative has been developed for post-secondary workplaces through collaboration and co-creation with the First Nations University of Canada, its Indigenous Advisory Circle, and Indigenous contributors. The training program creates an understanding on the history of colonization in Canada and how it impacts current issues and Indigenous Peoples today through engaging slideshows, short videos, documentary films, and mini quizzes. Four Seasons provides the knowledge required for informed, respectful and effective engagement in the classroom and workplace. This knowledge helps combat personal biases and preconceptions about Indigenous people. Only through education can we build a stronger future for all Canadians. Employees can access the course through HR Unlimited/My Portal/My Learning. 
  • Anti-Racism: A Journey to Allyship (For Employees): This course tackles urgently needed and under-acknowledged issues of racism in Canada with a particular – but not exclusive – focus on anti-black racism. Opening with a stunning short documentary from Canadian journalist Desmond Cole, this course cracks open concepts of privilege, unconscious bias and decision-making, the difference between anti-racism and systemic racism, why microaggressions are called “death by a thousand cuts” and why silence makes things worse. You will leave with concrete actions you can take towards racial equity and tackling discrimination that make a difference. You can access the course through HR Unlimited/My Portal/My Learning.
  • Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit: RRC Polytech’s Library and Academic Services has developed an Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit that provides information on historical racism and aims to acknowledge how racism has shaped our thinking and actions so that we can enhance our knowledge and speak out against continuing racism and systemic barriers.
  • Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI): RRC Polytech is an employer partner of CCDI and all employees can access the CCDI Knowledge repository and attend their monthly webinars for free. You can read instructions to access CCDI resources on Staff Forum.
  • Government of Canada’s Anti-racism strategy resource materials: The Government of Canada developed the Building a Foundation for Change Anti-Racism Strategy to address racism and discrimination in communities across Canada. The resource materials were listed were provided to support this strategy.
  • Winnipeg Public Library Anti-Racism Resources: The Winnipeg Library has curated books, videos and websites to help people learn about the forms of racism, about racial privilege, and what it means to be anti-racist.

RRC Polytech Social Justice Bingo 

Presented by: Anti-Racism Action Committee – Social Justice Engagement Club 

This summer, build your awareness with Social Justice Bingo! 

Engage in the activities on this card to learn more about anti-racist and social-justice related topics and places in our province. This is an opportunity to reflect on power, privilege, bias, and how they influence your own experiences and perceptions, and how they affect individuals and groups in our communities.  

As you engage with these activities, reflect on your experiences, take pictures, and share with the RRC community.

Once you have completed the card, complete this form to be included in a book prize draw. 

B I N G O 
Visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Watch a video that explains systemic racism Read an Anti-racism-themed book (see resource list for suggestions) Find an article about a current issue and share with friends or colleagues Talk with friends and family to build awareness of systemic racism 
Attend a Social Justice Engagement committee event Visit one of the Manidoo Miiniigooizowin exhibit at the Manitoba Museum Attend Folklorama Attend a PowWow Visit Qaumajuq at the Winnipeg Art Gallery 
Attend an event on Indigenous People’s Day on June 21 Take a picture with the mural at RRC Polytech Portage Campus Free
Make a button at the anti-racism booth at Red Forum 
Visit the Petroforms in the Whiteshell Take a picture with as many Rainbow flags as you can during Pride Month 
Visit a restaurant or store that is different from your ethnicity or culture Take the Indigenous Canada course (Indigenous Canada|University of Alberta) Volunteer your time or donate to Harvest Manitoba Take a LinkedIn Learning course about bias awareness   Take a walk at The Forks and visit Oodena Celebration Circle or the Peace Meeting Site 
Review and find where you see yourself on the Wheel of Privilege and Power Attend a Pride Parade Watch a movie that is not in your primary language Attend a CCDI Webinar (RRC Polytech Staff have free access) Add alternative text for the RRC Polytech logo graphic in your email signature 
Summer 2024 Social Justice Bingo

RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Action Committee:

If you’d like to get involved in future efforts focused on advancing our shared commitments to Truth and Reconciliation; and, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the College consider joining RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Action Committee. Staff and students can participate in events hosted by this working group. If you would like to make a commitment to anti-racism and participate in activities hosted by the Anti-Racism Action Committee, please fill out this anti-racism commitment form.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact diversity@rrc.ca.


Celebrate Pride Month with RRC Polytech

May 24, 2024

June is Pride Month, in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots that took place in 1969. While Pride is a time to celebrate the contributions of the 2SLGTBQIA+ community worldwide, it’s equally an opportunity to recognize its history rooted in the gay rights movement, the progress that has been made towards greater rights, and to continue to advocate for equity and inclusion.

In 2022, RRC Polytech unveiled its new personalized Pride design, which is an evolution of the Progress Pride flag. The design, which is painted as walkways on the Notre Dame, Exchange District, and Portage La Prairie campuses, represents our shared commitment and dedication to fostering safer spaces on our campuses where all students, staff, and visitors feel that they belong.

Last June, RRC Polytech’s personalized Pride flag was raised alongside the Treaty One Nation and Red River Métis flags at the bus loop entrance of the Notre Dame Campus, as a symbol of unity, pride and inclusivity. The flags fly year-round as a daily reminder of our shared commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and enacting Truth and Reconciliation in everything we do.

Show Your Pride!

Throughout June and beyond, there are resources to support you in learning how to best be an ally, amplify 2SLGBTQIA+ voices, and take action in creating greater inclusion in your personal and professional life.

RED Forum 2024

On Friday, May 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., join members of the Gender and Sexual Diversity Working Group at their Experiential Expo booth, part of RED Forum 2024. Activities will include a Match the Pride to the Flag game, DIY button making, and Pride flag giveaways. Plus test your knowledge with a quiz for a chance to win a prize!

Drop by to participate; registration is not required.

The Forecast is Calling for Rainbows: Winnipeg Pride Parade and Rally

For over a decade RRC Polytech has brought together students, staff and their friends/family members to walk alongside the College’s float in the Winnipeg Pride Parade and Rally.

On Sunday, June 2, everyone in the RRC Polytech community is invited and encouraged to bring friends, family, and pets downtown for a few hours to celebrate inclusivity and feel the love, as we show our support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Details are still be finalized and will be shared closer to the date, but a hard-working crew is once again preparing our elaborate float, tailgating festivities are being planned for prior to the event, and each registered participant will receive a complimentary RRC Polytech Pride themed t-shirt.

Canadian Pride Historical Society Talk

RRC Polytech is honoured once again to welcome Jonathan Niemczak to speak with the campus community as part of our Pride Month celebrations.

Jonathan is the Chair and CEO of the Canadian Pride Historical Society (CPHS), Past President of Pride Winnipeg, and a gender, sexuality, and relationship (GSRD) advocate with over fifteen years of community leadership experience.

  • Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Roundhouse Auditorium (Second Floor), Manitou a bi Bii daziigae, Exchange District Campus

Registration to come.

Resources for Beyond Pride Month

Our support for and allyship with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community doesn’t stop after Pride Month. Visit the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on Campus Resources page for an evolving list of self-directed learning, including the Library’s Gender and Sexual Diversity Guide, to help foster understanding, allyship, and advocacy all year round.

Manitoba Access Awareness Week: May 26 to June 1, 2024

May 20, 2024

Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW) is observed annually to raise awareness about accessibility issues that affect people with disabilities in Manitoba. It is important to be aware of these issues, remove barriers and celebrate access and inclusion.

RRC Polytech is committed to continuing its work to remove barriers to education and employment, and to promote access and participation in all aspects and activities of the College. Each member of the RRC Polytech community shares the responsibility of creating an equitable and inclusive environment.

All employees can access the Accessible Customer Service Standard Training and Accessible Information and Communications Standard Training through HRIS/My Portal/My Learning, to learn about the requirements of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act and Standards and resources available at the College. 

RRC Polytech offers programs and services to help with accessibility. You can find more information on our websites:

The Manitoba Accessibility Office will be hosting free daily webinars from May 27 to May 31 in recognition of Manitoba Access Awareness Week. We will be highlighting these webinars and other learning opportunities through Staff News posts in the coming days.

RRC Polytech is committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming, supportive and respectful of the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. We will continue to identify and implement strategies to ensure that individuals in the College community have equal opportunity to achieve their employment and educational goals.

You can let us know your questions or feedback regarding accessibility using the feedback form or by emailing diversity@rrc.ca.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024

May 16, 2024

Observed annually on the third Thursday of May, Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is a time for thinking about and advocating for digital access/inclusion and people with accessibility needs or disabilities.

What is digital accessibility?

Digital accessibility refers to the ability of people with disabilities or impairments to independently interact with digital content, for example, websites and mobile applications. The goal is creating a barrier-free experience through embedding accessibility as a core requirement for all technologies and digital products.

Visit the GAAD website to learn more about digital accessibility.

Manitoba Access Awareness Week

Later this month – May 26 to June 1 – marks Manitoba Access Awareness Week. To recognize this week, the Manitoba Accessibility Office will be hosting four informational webinars, including the kick-off to Manitoba Access Awareness Week (MAAW) featuring an overview of the requirements under the Accessible Information and Communication Standard Regulation.

Register for the kick-off to MAAW webinar.

Further resources:

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

May 13, 2024

Post written by Dr Obren Amiesimaka and Justine Hawley, Gender and Sexual Diversity Group Members at RRC Polytech.

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) is marked every May 17. Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia are probably words you’ve heard before. They refer to the “fear, dislike, or hatred of and discrimination against 2SLGBTQIA+ people”(Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion’s Glossary of Terms) because of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Derogatory language, violence and various forms of discrimination, at work or in the law/education/life generally, are few examples of homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. These acts of discrimination can be subtle, but they don’t have to be overt to negatively impact 2SLGBTQIA+ folk. Sadly, many members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Canada and around the world still face discrimination due to homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. We should not be complicit by letting these hateful actions occur without repercussions or anyone standing up.

The theme for this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia is “No One Left Behind: Equality, Freedom and Justice for All”. At RRC Polytech, we are committed to pursuing equity, diversity and inclusion in everything we do, and this is embedded in our Strategic Plan. We strive to be allies, show kindness to, and respect the dignity of everyone, no matter who they are and who they love.

Think about how you can be a 2SLGBTQIA+ ally and stand against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia this May 17 and always.

Asian Heritage Month 2024

May 8, 2024

May is Asian Heritage Month, a time to honor and commemorate the histories, cultures and contributions of people of Asian origin within Canada. The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2024 is “Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future: Amplifying Asian Canadian Legacy.” This theme celebrates the rich heritage and contributions of people of Asian origin within Canada while also looking forward to the future with optimism and hopefulness.  At RRC Polytech, we want to mirror this celebration of heritage, and future focused optimism, by offering the following resources, activities, and events aimed at deepening our shared understanding of Asian histories and cultures in order to engage meaningfully in our celebration and recognition of people of Asian origin within our community.

Resources and Training

  • At RRC Polytech, all employees can access the Anti-Racism: A Journey to Allyship training through our learning management system. This training tackles urgently needed and under-acknowledged issues of racism within Canada, including anti-Asian racism, and explores the concepts of privilege, unconscious bias, anti-racism, systemic racism and microaggressions. The training provides concrete actions each of us can take towards racial equity and tackling discrimination to make a difference.
  • RRC Polytech’s Library and Academic Services has further developed an Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit that provides information on historical racism including anti-Asian racism, and aims to acknowledge how racism has shaped our thinking and actions so that we can enhance our knowledge and speak out against continuing racism and systemic barriers.
  • Through RRC Polytech’s employer partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) employees can register for upcoming webinars and community of practice events. In recognition of Asian Heritage Month CCDI is offering a webinar on Breaking Barriers to Inclusion: Asian Heritage Month and CCDI’s Spring Community of Practice events are focused on Bridging differences: Generative dialogue as a catalyst for DEI transformation.
  • The Government of Canada offers a variety of education and learning resources on: the history of Asian heritage within Canada; anti-Asian racism and discrimination; and notable Canadians of Asian origin who have made significant contributions to Canadian society. To access these resources, visit the Government of Canada’s Asian Heritage website.
  • The advocacy arm of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Elimin8hate, also has a useful guide on how to stand up to anti-Asian racism.

Reading List

  • RRC Polytech’s Library and Academic Services Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit includes featured titles and articles available within our libraries and further links to community resources, educational guides and toolkits.
  • CCDI’s guide on Anti-Asian racism offers a variety of articles, reports, podcasts, books and other resources individuals can explore to deepen their understanding of Asian histories and cultures; and, to take steps to address anti-Asian racism.
  • The Winnipeg Public Library offers an Asian Heritage Guide with resources for learning about Asian heritage, with a Canadian focus, and book suggestions for all ages.

Film Screenings

  • RRC Polytech’s Library and Academic Services Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit includes featured videos on various topics including the Chinese Head Tax, the Komagata Maru incident and the Japanese Internment Camps.
  • The National Film Board has curated this list of films that celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian descent.
  • The FascinAsian Film Festival to be held May 24 to May 26 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery WAG-Qaumajuq 300 Memorial Blvd celebrates Asian contributions to film and media with a focus on highlighting the talents of Asian-Canadian and Asian-American artists.

Cultural Events and Performances

Community Engagement Opportunities

  • The Taste of Asia – Asian Pop Fest! to be held on May 25 and 26 from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the CN Stage & Field at The Forks presents an opportunity to celebrate Asian-Canadian culture and participate in an event involving food, music, dance, art, fashion and more. To learn more about the festival visit The Forks website.
  • The Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba is organizing additional local events to recognize and celebrate Asian Heritage Month. More information on these upcoming events is available through the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba website.

RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Action Committee

  • If you’d like to get involved in future efforts focused on advancing our shared commitments to Truth and Reconciliation; and, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the College consider joining RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Action Committee – a working group of motivated staff and students dedicated to addressing anti-racism through awareness, learning, events and initiatives that spark action and meaningful, positive change. If you are interested in attending an upcoming meeting, please fill out this EDI Working Group form and select “Anti-Racism Action Committee”  

While Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the rich histories, cultures and contributions of people of Asian origin within Canada, it also serves as a reminder that our work to address historical and ongoing racism continues.  We encourage everyone to take advantage of these resources; to participate in the various events and activities planned throughout the month; and to use this time to deepen our understanding, celebrate diversity, and foster a culture of inclusivity, belonging and anti-racism within our College community.

May is Jewish Heritage Month

May 8, 2024

As of 2018, Parliament designated May as Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, celebrating the contributions Jewish Canadians have made over the last 250 years and continue to make within communities across the country.

This type of observance helps us understand one another on a deeper level by highlighting communities and cultures. Acknowledging and appreciating the important contributions that Jewish Canadians have made to Canada from social to economic to political and more, highlights the country we have built together.

Learn more about Jewish culture and history, and celebrate Jewish Heritage Month with the following resources:

National Film Board of Canada:

  • CCDI Webinar: Antisemitism: How to recognize and prevent it in the workplace
    • Login is required. Free to sign up for RRC Polytech staff.

May 6 marked Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which commemorates the lives and heroism the six million Jewish people who died in the Holocaust. Following Yom HaShoah, there are week-long commemorations in our community, including synagogue services, film screenings, and educational programs. Visit the Jewish Federation of Manitoba’s website for more information.

Yom HaShoah

May 6, 2024

Today, May 6, 2024 we recognize Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorates the lives and heroism of Jewish people who died in the Holocaust. Each spring, the community comes together at the Manitoba Legislature with municipal, provincial, and federal government representatives to commemorate the six million Jews who perished in the Shoah.

Today, the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg will host the Annual Public Holocaust Commemoration from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm at the Grand Staircase, Manitoba Legislative Building, 450 Broadway.

This ceremony features candle lighting, music, readings and prayers. All are welcome to attend. Register for the commemoration event here.

Following Yom HaShoah, there are week-long commemorations in the community, including synagogue services, film screenings, and educational programs.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

Learn more ›