fYrefly in Schools has been awarded a Youth Leadership Award from Prairieaction Foundation (PAF). This is the first year that PAF invited applications for Youth Leadership Awards, which recognize youth and youth initiatives that address safety by promoting healthy relationships and anti-violence initiatives.
The award and a cheque for $3,000 was presented by the Lieutenant-Governor the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield at Government House on May l5, 2017. Christian Andrew, a trans fYrefly summer student (and a secondary English pre-intern in the Faculty of Education), accepted the award and spoke briefly about the work fYrefly is doing to give voice to marginalized youth. Director of fYrefly in Schools Dr. James McNinch reports that during a conversation, the Lieutenant Governor said “she was aware of the good work we were doing and would like to know of any events that she might attend.”
fYrefly in Schools will be using the award money to fund two Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) mini-conferences in Saskatoon and Regina. McNinch says, “GSA members and student leaders will gather to learn about gender and sexual equity and strategies to make their schools more welcoming and inclusive to gender and sexually diverse students.” (One was held in Saskatoon last weekend). A Regina GSA mini-conference will be held on May 27, 2017.
Prairieaction Foundation has an interesting history dating back to the 1989 mass murder of women at a polytechnique in Montreal. The prairie-based non-profit is dedicated to reducing violence and abuse in our society.