,

Dear friends, stakeholders, and partners,

We have exciting news!  We have selected a winner for our annual scholarship program.  We are very pleased to announce the Ahmed Hamila will be this year's recipient of the Jeremy Dias Scholarship.

A word from our founder, Jeremy:

" I am delighted to select Ahmed Hamila as the recipient of the Jeremy Dias Scholarship. Ahmed is a passionate 2SLGBTQIA+ activist whose lived experience as a member of the QTBIPOC newcomer community motivated them to social justice work and research. In addition to working on a PhD at the University of Montreal focusing on the LGBTQIA+ refugee experience, he is also the founder of Comité d'action féministe contre les descriminations (Université de Montréal); a board member of Action LGBTQ avec les immigrants et réfugiés; and an advisor with Equipping Professional for Supporting LGBT Refugees Project. As a reference described, Ahmed is committed to not only giving a voice to LGBTQIA+ refugees and newcomers in Canada, but also creating space for them at the decision tables of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities."

In response to the news, Ahmed would like to say:

"I am very honored to receive the 2019 Jeremy Dias Scholarship. It is indeed an utmost privilege that my commitment to ending discrimination is acknowledged by The Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity which work I admire. This scholarship encourages me to continue my efforts to eliminate discrimination especially towards LGBTQ+ migrants and people of color."

The CCGSD is very happy to support Ahmed Hamila, and we wish him continued success in 2SLGBTQ+ activism.

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We would like to thank Jeremy for the last 16 years!

16 years after founding and diligently serving at the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity, Jeremy Dias will be stepping down as Executive Director, and pursuing a Master's degree in Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. 




The CCGSD now runs with an annual budget of over 1 million dollars, and is leading the way, Canada wide, in addressing discrimination and celebrating diversity. Jeremy led the design of countless innovative projects including the 2SLGBTQIA+ Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Program; the Canadian GSA Youth Leadership Forum; the National 2SLGBTQIA+ Service Providers network; the Ontario Sports Inclusion Program; the 2SLGBTQIA+ Ontario Educators Conferences, the 2nd Canadian Anti-HIV Stigma campaign and countless 2SLGBTQIA+ workshop, forums and events. Jeremy also organized the national advocacy work of the CCGSD into the PINK Agenda, and has championed countless incredible campaigns including: International Day of Pink, Our History Initiative Initiative, and the Gay Sweater (currently in the Canadian Museum of History). 

"In 2018, the board and I restructured the Bylaws so that the CCGSD could be a more independent organization, fostering new leaders to step into the work that I had the privilege to do everyday. I am excited that others will get to experience the joys of working together with the community to create positive change, and work collaboratively to create meaningful changes for 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples" continues Jeremy Dias.


Jeremy Dias (Centre), Cameron Aitken (Right)

The Board of Directors at CCGSD are proud to announce that Cameron Aitken will step forward as the Acting Executive Director while a fully sustained and transparent process is undertaken for the permanent Executive Director posting. Cameron is also a Sir James Dunn C&VI graduate, and followed in the footsteps of activists before him, founded Sault Ste Marie's first GSA. When the two met in September of 2009 at the Focus on the Gay Family Values Conference hosted by Willowgrove United Church, there was an instant friendship and shared passion for advancing the rights of 2SLGBTQIA+ in Sault Ste. Marie, and across Canada.



"Since completing my Master's in Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, and coming back to the CCGSD, I have been thrilled to work with such a talented team and share in leading Canada's leading 2SLGBTQIA+ organization. The organization has allowed me to share my passion for queer & trans Canadian history as well as advocate for systemic change. After working for the CCGSD for five years, I am enthusiastic for the challenges and rewards ahead. I would like to extend my thanks to the Board of Directors for their support and guidance as we embark on this next chapter" said Cameron Aitken.

Board President, Calla Barnett, who is also from Northern Ontario, noted, "On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are grateful for the devoted service of Jeremy Dias as Founder & Executive Director. It is because of Jeremy's actions many years ago and those of other founding members, including: Anita Dolman, Stephanie Gray, Katie Greig, Erin Lux, Faith Iman, and Marie Robertson that we have this organization here today. At the core of this organization, has been the sentiment of changing hearts and minds, the social and political equality for 2SLGBTQIA+ Canadians. Every member of the CCGSD team, from volunteers to board members and staff, are committed to the advancement of gender and sexual minorities across Canada and Turtle Island. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Jeremy, who has over the last 16 years propelled a small foundation to an organization proudly providing educational services and resources from coast to coast to coast."

"I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported my (Jer's) vision over the last 16 years. It has truly been an honour to travel across this great country, represent my community and make a real difference in the lives of 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their allies. I remain committed to the organization and will continue to support the organization in my new role as a member of the Advisory committee" said Jeremy Dias.


You can reach Cameron at community@ccgsd-ccdgs.org or Calla at Calla@ccgsd-ccdgs.org, and can always contact Jeremy at the new email Jeremy@ccgsd-ccgds.org. 


Sincerely,

All of us here at the CCGSD



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Heart 2 Heart - Volume 3

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