Fostering Allyship: Celebrating Pride Month and Recognizing Brock Professional and Continuing Studies

Written by: Felicia Pereira

Reading time estimate: 3 minutes

In the spirit of inclusivity and equality, the month of June is dedicated to celebrating Pride Month, a time to honor the LGBTQ+ community and promote awareness, acceptance, and support. Pride Month is not only about embracing diversity and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, but also about fostering ally ship. This month gave the opportunity for Brock Professional and Continuing studies to show how it embraces ally ship through its Speaking with Pride event, as well as its continued offerings of lifelong learning opportunities that allow learners to grow in equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Understanding Pride Month

Pride Month is an annual celebration that commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history that sparked the modern-day LGBTQ+ rights movement. This month-long celebration serves as a platform for raising awareness, educating communities, and empowering individuals to embrace their authentic selves. Pride Month emphasizes the importance of ally ship and encourages individuals to become advocates for equality, acceptance, and respect.

Fostering Allyship through Speaking with Pride

Recognizing the gap in professional environments around Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB) we collaborated with community partner Pride Niagara to create a new professional development event called Speaking with Pride”. The event was designed to help educate professionals and individuals to launch their journey of better allyship. On June 1st, Brock PCS put on its inaugural Speaking with Pride event at Brock University to kick-off the beginning of Pride in Niagara. This initiative provides a platform for members of the LGBTQ+ community to share their experiences, challenges, and achievements, creating an environment of understanding and support. By organizing this event, Brock PCS enables dialogue, encourages empathy, and fosters allyship among its students, staff, and the broader community. 

Leading with Pride

The first half of Speaking with Pride featured guest speaker Todd van der Heyden from CTV news channel. Todd is a national news anchor that delivers the information that impacts Canadian’s daily lives. Van der Heyden spoke about his life journey and how throughout his career, he has seen change and progress in the world, and how it affects him personally and professionally. “Sometimes you just have to be the gay guy and own it” in your workplace, Van der Heyden shared as part of his talk on leadership.

The Impact of Allyship

Participants at Speaking with Pride, fostering ally ship through their engagement, attendance, and willingness to learn more on what it means to be an ally.

Allyship goes beyond passive support; it involves actively advocating for the rights and well-being of marginalized communities. Does stating “I’m an ally” go far enough in 2023? Fostering a sense ally ship is the first step in making an equitable work environment. Through Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Training, individuals and organizations can gain the tools required to develop a supportive environment where 2SLGBTQ+ individuals feel safe, valued and empowered. When allies educate themselves, challenge biases, and actively support 2SLGBTQ+ rights, they contribute to the creation of safe spaces and a society that embraces diversity.

Celebrate and Recognize Diversity in your team

Jonathan Belgrave, the Digital and Social Media Marketing Specialist in Brock’s Professional and Continuing Studies team, received the Ed Eldred Unity Award at the tenth-annual Niagara Unity awards, Wednesday, May 31.

A simple action to empowering and fostering ally ship in your workplace is by enabling your diverse team members to lead and celebrate their successes. Within our own team at Brock Professional and Continuing Studies, we practice ally ship by championing our identifying staff members to get involved with the community and exercise leadership. PCS team member Jonathan Belgrave was awarded Pride Niagara’s 2023 Ed Eldred Unity Award from as a recognition to his outstanding efforts in promoting inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights.

Promoting Inclusivity Beyond Pride Month

While Pride Month serves as a focal point for LGBTQ+ advocacy, fostering ally ship is an ongoing commitment that extends beyond a single month. Ensure that your organization plans to offer continuous support, engagement, and promote inclusivity throughout the year. Organize workshops, training sessions, and inclusive events, so that ally ship is woven into your organizational culture.

If you are looking to create custom training programming for your team, reach out to us for a free consultation session.


Allies, B. (2020, June 19). 7 Examples of What Being an Ally at Work Really Looks Like. The Muse.

Dias, J., & Hamill, J. (2023, June 13). What is Allyship? Your Questions Answered. CCL.

Wallenfeldt, J. (2022). Why is pride month celebrated in June?. Encyclopædia Britannica.

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