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York Region District School Board Hosts Unity Rally, Ring of Peace
News Release
York Region District School Board Hosts Unity Rally, Ring of Peace
Aurora, ON – York Region District School Board hosted a unity rally, Ring of Peace: Inspire Learning, Inspire Action!, to show support for safe, inclusionary spaces free from discrimination and hate for all learners in York Region. 

Close to 1,000 staff and students from across York Region gathered at the Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning in Richmond Hill to take part in a walk of reflection and to form a ring of peace. 

The rally was organized in light of recent local and global incidents of discrimination and hate that have affected York Region students, staff and communities. 

“I commend the York Region District School Board for encouraging safe, inclusionary spaces for all learners. Diversity is one of our strongest assets,” said Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter in a written greeting to participants.

“I, like many others, am concerned about the emotional well-being of our marginalized students,” said Chair of the Board Loralea Carruthers. “I call upon our students and staff to ensure everyone who enters our schools – regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or sexuality – feels safe and supported.”

“We need to name forms of hatred when they occur,” added Interim Director of Education Kathryn Wallace. “We must be strong in these convictions and prepared to work with others to achieve safe, welcoming and inclusive environments.”

The rally featured student and staff speakers as well as speakers representing York Regional Police, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies, Georgina Band and the Board’s Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee. 

There were performances by an Indigenous drumming group and a student a cappella performance. 

For more information contact:

Paul Woods

Principal, Inclusive School and Community Services

York Region District School Board

Telephone: 905-884-2046 x238

Email: ​

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