Initiatives at MRU
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. You can read more about the Transgender Day of Remembrance below, and find out how you can participate.
Additionally, during the week of November 12-19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address the issues trans people face. MRU will have the trans flag flown and will be at half mass as a symbol of respect and morning on November 20th.
2019 brought forth the 29th iteration of the annual Calgary Pride Parade – the signature event that colours all of downtown Calgary with rainbows and smiles! Originally a small march of LGBT Calgarians, some of whom wore masks and bags over their faces to protect from persecution, the event has grown in leaps and bounds to become the second biggest parade in Calgary.
MRU is once again a proud Bronze Sponsor of the Calgary Pride Parade. The primary motivation for MRU's 7th year of participation in the Calgary Pride Parade is to promote inclusion and a sense of community on our campus. Faculty, staff, students, administrators, family and friends of multiple and intersecting identities walk together in solidarity.
We began entering the parade as part of our campus's Positive Space Initiative, a grassroots awareness and advocacy campus movement that has grown and evolved over the last 15 years to provide more formalized advocacy, awareness and education to the MRU campus community. It is also important to us to signal the broader Calgary community, particularly incoming students, young people (potential future students) and potential future colleagues, that a welcoming and inclusive learning and working community exists and awaits them.
Our city, free from discrimination against gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation
Calgary Pride is a not-for-profit organization that exists to promote equality and acceptance of Calgary’s LGBTQA community. Calgary Pride features a variety of entertainment and charity events, with the Pride Parade and Pride Festival concluding the 10 days of activity. Calgary Pride Week occurs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3, 2020. More info at calgarypride.ca.
MRU Pride crosswalk
A project from the MRU Pride Planning Committee in celebration of pride was to paint a pride crosswalk on campus to show its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The pride flag is a powerful symbol that shows support for a historically marginalized community. We want all students, staff, faculty, and community members to know that everyone is welcome at MRU and everyone belongs here.
Students who show leadership in support of LGBTQ communities are being recognized through a first-of-its-kind scholarship in southern Alberta. The Pride Scholarship (search for “Pride” on the page) awards $500 to two Mount Royal University students who are creating more inclusive spaces for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
Dave Beninger started the scholarship, along with two fellow graduates of the University of Calgary. “This is a way of showing that universities - especially Mount Royal University - are really accepting and tolerant places,” said Beninger. As someone who identifies with LGBTQ communities, Beninger understands the importance of studying in a safe place. He sees the scholarship as a means of addressing the social and economic inequality experienced by marginalized sexual communities - in educational circles, as well as in broader society.
“We wanted to step up to fill the gap,” Beninger said. Joe Dutton, a senior development officer at Mount Royal, credited Beninger as the driving force behind the award, while also acknowledging the University’s leadership team for steering the scholarship through the approval process. “In terms of inclusivity, it sends a strong message to the community,” said Dutton, adding he was tremendously proud to work on the student award.
In the past, members of LGBTQ communities noted there are few awards specifically for those who identify as sexual minorities. The University of Alberta selects two students for the Michael Phair Leadership Award. The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University offers a Gender and Sexual Diversity Award.
Pride Centre SAMRU
- create inclusive community across the gender and sexuality spectrum
- find support for themselves and support their gender and sexually diverse peers
- enhance everyone’s learning about gender and sexual diversity
The Pride Centre’s programs and services include:
- Gender and sexuality resource library
- Free safer sex and pregnancy prevention supplies including latex-free, internal condoms, and dental dams
- Free educational information for gender and sexual diversity, sexual and reproductive health, and healthy relationships for people of all genders and sexualities
- Referral services and peer support
- Queer-positive events and workshops