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June 03, 2024

Bluewater District School Board hosts Rainbow Student Conference

Captain Kit Boulter

Photo: Qaptain Kit (@qpt_kit) Boulter performs to student audience

The colours of love and acceptance shone in their full vibrancy during Bluewater District School Board’s (BWDSB’s) second annual Rainbow Student Conference on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Approximately 100 students from all secondary and a few elementary schools in the district made the trip to the BWDSB Education Centre in Chesley for a day of support among peers, music, arts and crafts, and positive messaging.

A powerful student message kicked off the day, proclaiming “Resistance” as the unofficial conference theme, in reference to the continued fight by members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community against certain pieces of legislation, hate speech, and other discrimination.

Returning guest and trans, nonbinary gender performer Qaptain Kit Boulter brought smiles and laughs with theatrical songs and fashion themed workshops. This extended to leading an uplifting karaoke session towards the end of the day.

Special guest Jay Menominee, an Indigenous transgender goldsmith apprentice with deep ties to the arts community and advocate for queer and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) voices, also shared their personal journey towards acceptance among family members. Jay’s message to students was simple yet profound. “I see the light inside of you. I see you for you.”

Coco Love Alcorn performs to student audience

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Coco Love Alcorn provided the musical backdrop throughout the day with hopeful lyrics and storytelling. “I want to believe that things are getting better, this world is for everyone,” Coco sang before delivering a collaborative songwriting workshop.

Student paintings

A variety of other colourful activities and fun included button making, bead work, painting, and games.

games set up outside with flag design

Games set up outside BWDSB Education Centre front entrance; bean bag units created by Owen Sound District Secondary School students.

The Rainbow Student Conference exemplifies the many meaningful ways in which BWDSB actualizes its mission to provide a quality education for every student in a safe, accepting, and caring environment. BWDSB is equally committed to valuing the diversity of students and enabling the student voice as an essential component of planning and everyday work.


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