Head of School’s Weekly Message

May 28, 2021

Dear UA Parents,

Happy Friday everyone,

As we head into the last weekend of May, I pause to reflect on the month that was. A big theme for me was our focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Early in the month the ISABC, of which UA is a member school, launched a new Strategic Plan to guide the Association through to 2026. A new priority titled ‘Social Impact’ was introduced, with one of the focus areas being to support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Diversity – The month of May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. This is a time to reflect on and celebrate the contributions that Canadians of Asian descent have made, and continue to make, to the growth and prosperity of Canada. Throughout the month, students and staff of UA have participated in a variety of activities in honour of Asian Heritage Month.

Equity – Personally, I found myself reflecting this week on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death. The social movements, protests, and outcry that resulted from his death brought the issue of systemic racism to the forefront around the world. Over the course of the year, I have read books, listened to podcasts, watched movies, and had uncomfortable conversations in order to help me learn and unlearn. It has been a year of growth for me in so many ways. My journey has been messy and imperfect, but I have committed to lifelong learning and look to be an ally for racialized members of the community.

Inclusion – Next week is Pride Week, and UA staff and students will participate in a variety of activities culminating in UA’s first Pride Day on Friday, June 4. It is an opportunity to celebrate our differences and to continue to practice being inclusive. Pride has a long history in Canada, with its origins tracing back to 1969. If you are interested in learning more about the History of Canadian Pride please visit the site for a timeline of events. I will continue to strive to make UA a safe place for students and staff to learn and grow, and recognize that, as someone in a position of power, I need to listen deeply in order to lead. Here is a great video titled Love Has No Labels.

UA is a wonderful community – I feel so fortunate to be able to work at the school, interact with students and staff, and (soon!) parents as well. As we look to the future, it is important that we articulate our priority to create a school that celebrates and honours Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Mr. Slinger

Posted on: May 31, 2021