View Full Version : GSA Safe places initiative

08-14-2008, 01:40 AM
Hello, everyone!
Just a quick note (just in case any of you haven't seen any of this, yet!)
to let you all know what's happening, tomorrow evening:

Safe Places Initiative Targets Discrimination Across Sault

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2008

SAULT STE. MARIE The Sault Ste. Marie Gay-Straight Alliance and Unity and Diversity announced the launch of a groundbreaking campaign to promote diversity and inclusivity across Sault Ste. Marie. The Safe Places Initiative asks businesses and community agencies committed to standing up against racism, homophobia, sexism, and other forms of discrimination to self-identify by putting up stickers that mark their premises as "hate free space." The campaign begins officially on Thursday, August 14th with a gala launch at Arcadia Coffee House, 823 Queen St. East at 7 p.m.

The gala will feature presentations by spokespeople from both Unity & Diversity and the Gay-Straight Alliance, as well as performances by local acoustic acts. Complimentary appetizers and desserts will be provided while Arcadia Coffee House will offer organically grown Fair Trade coffee and beverages.

The ideas that produced the Safe Places Initiative began months ago when Unity and Diversity was exploring ways to tackle the ongoing problem of First Nations tax exemption status being deliberately ignored by some retailers. Later this past May, the Gay-Straight Alliance was seeking ways to tackle discrimination across the city and began to put in motion a campaign to identify businesses that were committed to defending diversity. When both groups learned of each others' activities and concerns, they decided to collaborate.

"The key to this initiative is its visibility" said campaign spokesperson Sarah Broad. "By placing these stickers in store-front windows or entryways, businesses and other local agencies are confronting discrimination before it starts. They're declaring their whole establishment to be a hate-free zone. This is really something remarkable."

The campaign's first participating businesses will be announced at the gala launch, to which all media are invited and encouraged to attend. The gala will be Thursday, August 14th at 7 p.m. at Arcadia Coffee House, 823 Queen St. East in Sault Ste. Marie.


For more information contact:

Sean Meades
Safe Places Committee Chair
Home: 253-8559
Cell: 971-6709
Email: safeplaces@ssmgsa.com

Know a business/organization that might be interested in signing up? Please contact Sean Meades, (info above)