Stand Up. Speak Out. Inspires CCRSB Students and Staff

CCRSB News: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017

The 2017 Stand Up. Speak Out. brought students and staff from across the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) together to promote social justice, respect, anti-bullying and understanding. 

With students from across CCRSB in attendance and watching via livestream, the message was spread loud and clear. 

“Students have the right to go to schools where they feel safe and where they are treated with kindness and respect,” said Gary Adams, Superintendent and CEO, CCRSB. “I see this event as an important reminder that we are all human, we all have our stories and we all want to be treated nicely by others.” 

The theme for this year’s Stand Up. Speak Out. was What’s Your Story? It served as a reminder that we all have a story related to the five pillars of social justice, and by hearing one another’s stories, we are more likely to treat one other with kindness and understanding. 

“Stand Up. Speak Out. is intricately connected with the five pillars of social justice: gender, class, race, abilities, and sexual orientation,” said Mr. Adams. “That’s why we began this campaign with the mystery doors throughout the Board, with five colours representing the five pillars of social justice. We all have these identities and they help shape who we are.”

This year’s Stand Up. Speak Out. was hosted at Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC) in Truro. Grade nine students from the host school and their counterparts from schools in the surrounding areas gathered together in the AV Room for the event, while other students and staff from around the Board watched the livestream provided online. 

Video testimonials related to the five pillars of social justice were presented, while Mr. Adams, CCRSB Governing Board Chairperson Trudy Thompson and CEC Principal Bill Kaulbach provided remarks. CEC student council co-presidents Bailey Chisholm and Tara Cashen served as emcees, while the CEC school band entertained the crowd during breaks in the program. 

Nolan Pike, a well-known and inspirational LGBTQ* community leader and educator, delivered the keynote address. His story touched many in the audience and watching online, as he spoke about the challenges faced by transgender youth. 

CCRSB’s five mystery doors were on display during the event. The doors first appeared in communities throughout the school board in August before being claimed by CCRSB as illustrations of the five pillars of social justice. The doors will now be placed in CCRSB schools, where they will be decorated by students and become even more representative of the five pillars.

The doors will remain in schools until May when they will come back together to form an art installation truly representative of the social justice pillars.

Schools across CCRSB hosted their own Stand Up. Speak Out. celebrations throughout the day.