The meaning of inclusiveness vs marginalizationSaturday, September 29, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
Sault Ste. Marie: The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board held its annual Faith Day Celebration on Friday, September 28th in conjunction with its Professional Activity Day.
The day began with a powerful presentation on reinforcing equity and inclusion practices already in place in Catholic schools in accordance with recently passed provincial legislation.
Chris D’souza, a teacher with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, was the keynote speaker for the morning.
D’souza, who helped author Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and several children’s books, relayed real life experiences that showed how stereotypes, actions and words can have devastating effects on a child, particularly those who are marginalized.
“Chris’s address helped deepen our understanding of just what equity and inclusiveness really means. It can’t be words, it must be actions, and we as a Board plan to put those actions to work each and every day in all our places of work,” said Director of Education John Stadnyk.
Afternoon activities saw employees in Sault Ste. Marie take part in community outreach assisting organizations such as the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, Pauline’s Place, United Way, the Soup Kitchen Community Centre and Red Cross.
Other employee groups canvassed neighbourhoods for donations to local food banks while some focused on environmental stewardship by taking on clean-up projects. District schools have already participated in similar activities or will do so in the near future.
“I was very impressed at the attitude displayed by all our employees and the energy they put into causes they chose. It is an example of our faith in action,” added Stadnyk.
Employees also contributed to the Helping Hands/Caring Hearts Fund, an initiative of the local chapter of the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario.
The purpose of the fund is to help provide for basic necessities of life for students in our system, including but not limited to food, clothing, and shelter, in order that such students can attend and participate in the educational programs in which they are enrolled.