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Creators of Gender and Sexual Diversity course win Sustainability Leadership Award

May 19, 2017

A big congratulations goes out to Nora Sobel and Bradley West who accepted the inaugural Sustainability Leadership Award at Red River College’s RED Forum last week.

This award was created to shine a spotlight on the great sustainability work being done by faculty and staff throughout the College. Being recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 7 consecutive years doesn’t happen without dedication, innovation and commitment from our entire College community. The Sustainability Leadership Award is one way we’re recognizing staff and faculty who are putting sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Nora and Bradley accepting the Sustainability Leadership Award from RRC President Paul Vogt

Nora and Bradley from the Diversity and Intercultural Services department received this award for developing an online course to raise awareness about gender and sexual diversity issues among Red River College students, staff and faculty. “The course allows the College community to access information to support their learning journey, 24/7. This supports access and flexibility in how students interact with the content. Common elements of social sustainability”, Bradley said. One of the first to be developed in Canada, the course is offered in six 50-minute modules. Each module can stand alone, or the entire series can be offered together as a comprehensive learning experience. The course covers topics like Terminology; Cultural Considerations; Manifestations of Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism; Strategies for Inclusiveness; History of Pride and LGBTT* Rights; and College, Local and National Resources. “A strong collaborative approach throughout the development and implementation of this course is really one of the highlights of this initiative. RRC Teaching Learning Technology Centre (TLTC) supported our work through regular consultations with instructional designers and LEARN specialists, as well as with the filming, editing and closed captioning of video segments led by the eTV Studio. And now we are working with various academic programs -such as the Nursing program and the Allied Health Sciences programs- to employ this course to support student learning outcomes”, Nora said.

In addition to educating the College community about an important topic, the recipients of this year’s Sustainability Leadership Award serves a secondary purpose by raising our collective awareness of what it means to be a sustainable campus. All-too-often, conversations around campus sustainability focus on recycling and energy efficient buildings. But Red River College’s sustainability lens encompasses the three pillars of sustainability – social, economic and environmental. The Gender and Sexual Diversity course promotes the pillar of social sustainability. Social sustainability is about people – individuals and the community. While no universally accepted definition exists, it is generally agreed that socially sustainable communities are characterized by equity, diversity, inter-connectedness and good quality of life. These are values we espouse for our students, staff, faculty and our broader community.

The Sustainability Leadership Award recognizes and celebrates the outstanding contributions and cooperative efforts of employees who advance environmental, social and/or economic sustainability in a meaningful and enduring way at Red River College.