is a Professional Officer at the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association.
Derrick is committed to the principles of social justice and inclusion, and those principals underpin all his professional work.
As a young queer youth, Derrick spent much of his time trying to be camouflaged among his straight peers and silence his internalized fears. Though, with age, he has made a commitment to not let anything tarnish his sparkle and to uplift those around him.
Derrick strives to serve and to strengthen our community, while supporting those around him. Whether creating initiatives for under-represented groups within the queer community, assisting in preparedness exercises for disaster response, or weighing in on library programs and maintenance, Derrick’s focus has always improving the lives of those around him.
He is willing to put in hours of work for the people and projects that he loves, finding that when he contributes and builds something up, he truly shines. He has set himself apart from those that he once aimed to blend into by recognizing that the only thing that limits his potential is his fears.
Derrick obtained his BA from the University of Lethbridge, majoring in Philosophy, and MAS in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Through the Canadian Red Cross he has gained firsthand experience on how to implement the Seven Fundamental Principles into compassion-related work and gained the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. His professional career has equipped him with an understanding of bureaucratic processes and labour rules.
He is able to weave these threads together to quickly generate ideas, deconstruct and analyze complex situations, while considering the possible implications on relevant interest groups, and plotting a route forward. This helps him as he embodies the lesson of Martin Niemöller’s poem ‘First they came…’, asking questions as to why actions are taken and speaking when objections are present.
On June 18, 2018 Derrick was honoured to speak at Lethbridge Pride Fest’s flag raising at Lethbridge City Hall. After the events had concluded he was confronted by four youth that had attended the event, all of whom were either in tears or on the verge of crying. Despite their tears, these kids had the largest smiles on their faces.
His speech focused on what it means to be a responsible ally as members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically why it is important for gay and lesbian individuals to recognize and give space for Trans, Non-binary, and Gender-nonconforming individuals. He cherished this interaction because despite being in a crowd of about 300 people, he was able to connect with each of these individuals so authentically that they felt validated for the first time as members of the broader Lethbridge community.
Volunteering is Derrick’s primary way to engage with the community. Ranging from volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross as a supervisor on the Personal Disaster Assistance Team and as a responder on the Emergency Response Team, with the Lethbridge Public Library Board as a Trustee, serving as a member of the Governance Committee and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, with the Lethbridge Pride Fest Society in various capacities such as Secretary and Treasurer, and with the YQueerL Society for Change as Co-President. He also supports the endeavors of the community through maintaining memberships to OUTreach Southern Alberta and Theatre Outré.
For his tireless work to improve the lives of under-represented people and our community as a whole, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Derrick Antson as one of Lethbridge’s
Top 40 Under Forty