Edmonton Pride Run endows bursary for LGBTQ+ students

As a nursing student at the University of Alberta, Josh Bergman said access to financial support made a big difference to him at a critical time and a lasting impression post-graduation.

“I came from modest circumstances, I was the first one in my family to get a post-secondary education,” Bergman (‘05 BScN) said. “At one point, I had to pay for a spring course but I had no money, and my faculty was able to help access some money to get me through that time. And I remember thinking if I had the opportunity I’d like to give back to the U of A in some way in that regard.”

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Pride Week 2018 celebrates past, present and future equality

A temporary all-gender change room set up in the University of Alberta’s fitness and recreation facilities for Pride Week 2018 is emblematic of the strides the Pride movement has made and the work that still needs to be done to create welcoming and inclusive spaces for all on campus, according to a Pride Week organizer.

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From last to first: the ongoing work of supporting GSAs in Alberta schools

Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and queer-straight alliances (QSAs) are peer support networks that promote welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) students and their allies.

But misconceptions about what they do and who they’re intended for stoke opposition that may make students, teachers and school administrators hesitant to support their creation, despite the legislative backstop provided by Bill 10, which mandates the formation of GSAs in any Alberta K-12 school where students want them.

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Lucky 13: Q & A with a first-time drag king

It’s been three years since the first official University of Alberta Pride Week was celebrated on campus. In human years, it’s still a toddler. But the Annual OUTreach Drag Show, which will kick off UAlberta Pride Week 2016 this Saturday, has been around for 13 years. Consider it the spirited older sister that paved the way for its younger sibling.

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Leading advocate for LGBTQ youth honoured with Alumni Award

To say Kristopher Wells (’94 BEd, ’03 MEd, ’11 PhD) is a busy man is quite an understatement.

Co-director of the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) and assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, Wells is a leading researcher and advocate for sexual and gender minority youth across Canada.

Now more than ever, his expertise is in demand.

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Camp fYrefly recognized with local peace award

By Isabela C. Varela

Camp fYrefly, Canada’s only leadership program for sexual and gender minority or LGBTQ youth, is the proud recipient of Project Ploughshares Edmonton’s 2014 Salvos Prelorentzos Peace Award.

Founded in 2004 by professors André Grace and Kristopher Wells of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, Camp fYrefly is a university-community educational outreach project that focuses on the educational, health, safety, and socialization needs of sexual and gender minority youth.

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Gay-Straight Alliances Save Lives

Recent controversy over gay-straight alliances in Alberta schools has put lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights into the national spotlight.

Last week, the Alberta legislature voted down a non-binding motion calling on the government to introduce legislation that would require school boards to support gay-straight alliances (GSAs) when requested by students.

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New Resource Designed to Tackle Transphobic Bullying in Schools

Kristopher Wells receives hate mail and death threats for standing up for what he believes in, but he refuses to be bullied.

He says every time he appears on TV to discuss sexual and gender minority (SGM) rights and issues, detractors come out of the woodwork.

“I always say my job hasn’t been done if a week goes by where somebody doesn’t ask for me to be fired,” says Wells. “There’s never a dull day.”

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Gay-Straight Alliances Paving the Way to the Future

Growing movement aims to create safe schools and encourage inclusivity

It’s not so strange to find clubs on the campus of any high school.  Students with common interests connect all the time to join groups focused on sports and academic clubs as well as social clubs.

But it’s only recently that students have gotten together to form gay-straight alliances, or GSAs.  Today they’re one of the fastest growing social movements within schools in North America.

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