Community values

CUREA Update: Strengthening Inclusive Community Values

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This month, an email from the president of Valbella Gourmet Foods in Canmore, Alberta. gone viral. When asked if the fine dining business would support a Canmore Pride event, the president responded with an email filled with transphobic and homophobic hate. The Mayor of Canmore responded to the controversy by saying, “When something like this happens, it’s an opportunity to reinforce community values ​​– inclusiveness, valuing every member of our community.

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CUREA is in alliance with the LGBTQ+ community, with Diversity Cornwall, and proudly supports Pride Month festivities. CUREA were delighted to set up a stand and take part in the Cornwall Pride festival on July 9th.

What does a group like CUREA, committed to racial equality, education and advocacy, have to do with LGBTQ+ initiatives? Why are we so close?

The number one reason we align our support with Cornwall Pride is to recognize the importance of diverse groups within our communities. Tara Francis, member of the board of CUREA, was invited to do the opening ceremony of the purification. Tara says she supports Cornwall Pride because “Two-Spirit people are sacred to Indigenous communities.” The diversity of experiences is the richness of our common history. These stories should be protected as sacred.

The second reason is a common history of marginalization and oppression. CUREA Board Member Stacey Ottley attended Pride as a supporter and to raise funds through the sale of t-shirts at the CUREA booth. In support, she said, “Anti-oppression is about all forms of oppression. We all have intersecting identities and the ultimate goal is to eradicate different forms of oppression. It’s the only way to set us free. Visible minorities, blacks, aboriginals share a history of oppression. Historically, marginalized groups have found allies with other marginalized groups, finding common ground in their quest for equality.

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Finally, we are not opaque in our identities. As community members, we carry complex identities and must work with other advocacy groups to identify our cross-cutting issues. A BIPOC member of the community may experience activities such as education, health care, and government services differently than someone who is not BIPOC and LGBTQ+. CUREA advocates for equity, diversity and inclusiveness in our services which consider all intersecting factors in an individual’s life.

To the BIPOC members of our communities who also identify as LGBTQ+, CUREA stands in solidarity with you. We are aware of your increased vulnerability and oppression. We want to ensure your inclusion in our community. The goal of inclusivity for every member of the community, as echoed by the Mayor of Canmore, rings true for CUREA. Congratulations to the organizers of the Cornwall Pride Festivals for giving voice to the underdog and for a fun, well-attended and significant day in Cornwall’s history.