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Working with our community toward a more diverse, inclusive and accessible Pride

Ottawa Capital Pride believes that Pride is a platform based on three pillars: celebration, education and advocacy. We believe that it takes a combination of these actions to affect positive change for LGBTTQ people in Ottawa, in Canada, and around the world. We celebrate the advancements in LGBTTQ rights and equity that have been made here at home and globally. We educate and remind ourselves that the modern Pride movement started as a protest and is political. And we must also continue to advocate for freedom of gender identity and expression, and furthering dignity and respect for trans people, two-spirited and indigenous people, people of colour and people with disabilities.

Recent events, including the tragic killing of 49 people – many of them people of colour – at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando have demonstrated the disproportionate impact of discrimination and violence against LGBTTQ people of colour. As our community continues to rally together to express solidarity and sadness following these events, it is a crucial time to recognize that Pride needs to do more to reflect the diverse needs of the LGBTTQ community. Groups such as Black Lives Matter have highlighted the work that still needs to be done.

Too many people still do not have spaces where they feel safe or welcome due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, age, or physical abilities. Ottawa Capital Pride understands that we must be engaged partners with every member of our community, and ensure that diverse voices are part of the movement.

In the year ahead, Ottawa Capital Pride will continue to build new connections while strengthening existing relationships with members of our community. We will work to improve the diversity of our organization, within both the community advisory and operations committees, and we will continue to evolve and improve our festival programming. To that end, we will be engaging community stakeholders and community members in direct conversations this fall, and inviting the public to participate in an event about lessons learned from this year and to gather feedback on ways improve our festival in the year ahead. We look forward to the opportunity to engage in respectful and honest dialogue with our community to make Capital Pride the best it can be.

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