ETOBICOKE, Ont -- Where the public discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) was once taboo, the mainstream and educational media now address these topics with increasing frequency. Equally, the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students on Humber College campuses is now an integral part of the institutional diversity which helped establish the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre. The Centre works to provide a safer place for Humber's LGBQT+ students and allies to connect with one another and access resources.
The Humber College Department of Athletics, Recreation and Leisure Education is proud and excited to announce their partnership with the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre to help further establish Humber as an all-inclusive institution.
The Humber Hawks believe in and is committed to diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators, making this relationship a perfect match. With help from the LGBTQ+ Resource Centre, Humber Athletics seek to establish and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for all.
Michael Kopinak, Associate Athletic Director for Humber Athletics, in collaboration with Natalie Elisha, Student Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Coordinator, were influential in making this partnership happen.
"The partnership is designed to build awareness of the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in athletics and recreation spaces," said Michael Kopinak. "Athletics is an essential part of the collegiate experience in which students participate as athletes and spectators. Every student on a team or in the stands should have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of college sports in an environment of respect and safety."
Wednesday's basketball games will be the first of many steps taken to raise awareness surrounding this important issue. During the pre-game ceremonies, a banner will be unveiled to signify the establishment of Athletics becoming a safe place, and a short video will be played to highlight the importance of sport and the role it can play to promote an inclusive culture.
"Sport has a wonderful ability to bring people together and create opportunities for community building," said Natalie Elisha. "Those who are LGBTQ+, culturally diverse, differently abled, whatever - they should feel safe to bring their whole selves into whatever spaces they occupy."
"We still have a long way to go, but we are taking steps in the right direction," added Michael Kopinak. "We need to continue to spread awareness that we are creating a foundation to make Humber athletics a safe space. Wednesday's event is just a glimpse of the cultural changes happening around Humber College."