As Pride Month ends, Aiden Beattie reflects on authenticity, belonging and change
Over the past decade, Aiden Beattie ― an IT strategy and execution analyst with Canadian Blood Services ― has seen our organization go through many changes. They include a noticeable shift to further cultivate a safe, healthy and respectful workplace where everyone feels included and supported. “For years, when some of my coworkers would ask me what I got up to on the weekend, I would often omit things that I felt might out me as a gay man,” says Aiden. “After I started being more authentic and open and honest about who I am, nobody really cared, and they were warm and supportive.” As a founding member of the LGBTQ+ employee resource group (ERG), Aiden has been helping to put our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy into action within the organization and across our stakeholder community. You can read his story on Connect.
‘There should be diversity, equity and inclusion in every organization’
Annette Regalado was still reeling from the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in Kamloops, B.C., when she heard a shocking report that hit even closer to home. 751 unmarked graves had been discovered on the grounds of another former residential school, this one in Annette’s own province of Saskatchewan. “Hearing about the mass grave in Kamloops was devastating for me already and then the news from Saskatchewan came and hurt me even more deeply,” says Annette, a residential school survivor who works as a donor services representative at Canadian Blood Services in Regina, Sask. “My heart broke for the families who wondered what might have happened to their children, and those discoveries brought back sad memories.” Read Annette’s story on blood.ca/stories.
Living Our Values awards: nominate a colleague or team by July 9
The deadline to nominate an individual or team for a Living Our Values (LOV) Award of Distinction is fast approaching! Nominations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, July 9, and there is no limit to the number of nominations you can submit. We know this is a busy time of year for many but taking a moment to recognize your colleagues who have continued to live our values throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has positive psychological benefits for both nominator and nominee. If you know someone who strongly exemplifies our ICARE values of integrity, collaboration, adaptability, respect and excellence, we encourage you to nominate them. More details are available on Connect.
Bicycling to health and well-being
With many gyms closed and leisure and recreational activities restricted during the pandemic, more and more Canadians have turned to cycling as a way to refresh mind, body and spirit. Canadian Blood Services team members Mattea Duprey (Hamilton, Ont.), Vanessa Nye (Edmonton, Alta.) and Aviva Ma (Vancouver, B.C.) told us about adjusting their routines during the pandemic to maximize the potential benefits of cycling. Read their stories on Connect.
Question of the day: How is Canadian Blood Services recognizing Canada Day this year, in the wake of the recent residential school tragedies?
As you may have seen in the media, many communities across the country are cancelling Canada Day celebrations in recognition of the pain being felt by Indigenous communities and in the wake of the discovery of mass and unmarked graves at the sites of former residential schools in Kamloops, B.C. and Cowessess, Sask. On social media the hashtag #CancelCanadaDay has been trending, with many folks saying that the focus this July 1 should be on spreading awareness about the history of racism, oppression, colonization and xenophobia in our country.
Rather than “cancelling” Canada Day celebrations altogether, we plan to use Canada Day as an opportunity for learning, by adding perspective and context to the holiday and encouraging thoughtful reflection on what it means to be Canadian.
This Canada Day, we will celebrate individuals from across our nation who continue to step forward to help save lives, while also recognizing that there are individuals and communities in Canada who have been disproportionately hurt by some of our policies and the health system more broadly. Read more in this Connect story, where we also provide a link to resources and tips related to diversity, equity and inclusion. These are intended to help all those seeking to learn, grow and step into the role of an ally.
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