“This presentation will foster the ongoing creation of positive school cultures where diversity is valued and respected,” said Rainbow District School Board superintendent Lesleigh Dye, in a press release.
“We want students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited and questioning to feel safe, secure, welcomed and important in our schools.”
This is Dias’ fourth visit to Rainbow schools.
His presentations will serve as a prelude to the Dare to Stand Out Conference, being presented in partnership with Jer’s Vision, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.
Dias was born in Edmonton, Alta., and grew up there until moving to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where he attended high school.
As a youth, he was motivated by social and political inequality to take action, volunteering with numerous organizations and charities.
In high school, he started and led a number of clubs including Stop Racism and Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving. He also founded and co-ordinated the Sault Ste. Marie first regional LGBTQ youth group.
After coming out in high school, Dias faced extreme cases of discrimination by school officials.
At 17, he began a legal case against his school and school board, and at 21, won Canada’s second largest human rights settlement. Dias used the money to found Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative and the Jeremy Dias Scholarship.
Dias has been featured on Canada AM, Much Music, CTV News, Global News and CBC News; and has been a keynote speaker at countless conferences and events.
He is completing a degree in psychology and political science at the University of Ottawa, continues to volunteer for a number of organizations, and is a columnist for 2B Magazine in Montreal. Dias currently serves as Jer’s Vision’s Executive Director.
For more information, visit http://www.jersvision.org.
All of the Rainbow District School Board’s secondary schools have Gay Straight Alliances. They are designed to support students who identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited or questioning, and students who may have friends, parents or other family members from these communities.