Borden Pride group wins top honours

CFB Borden Pride Network
Representatives from the CFB Borden Pride Network accept their Organization of the Year award at the 2018 Fierté Simcoe County Pride Awards. From left to right: Pte Lynette Dang, Cpl Cory Hirst, Cpl Staci Foster, Sgt Shannon Vickery, LCol Charleen MacCulloch, MCpl Carole Cloutier, Major Sylvain Menard. Photo: Aviator Olivia Mainville

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By Emily Brown, Borden Citizen

The Borden Pride Network took home organization-of-the-year honours this year at the Fierté Simcoe County Pride Awards annual gala on August 11, 2018.

Formed two years ago to support military members and civilians at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden, the Borden group meets on a monthly basis to discuss upcoming events, concerns, and ways forward to grow the group.

The group has worked on a number of initiatives, including having representatives speak on diversity on the CFB Borden Positive Space Ambassador course in order to foster a positive and safe place for LGBTQ2+ military members.

“This course is meant to further foster the creation of a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” according to network co-chair, Sergeant Shannon Vickery.

Sgt Vickery said the committee’s growth has been incredible, jumping from three at its inception to more than 30 today. Sgt Vickery has been involved with the Borden Pride Network since its official flag-raising event in 2016. The award this year is a great accomplishment for the group.

“It means that our hard work is paying off,” Sgt Vickery said. “It means that we as a committee have the privilege of seeing the smiles of our future leaders — that the privates and corporals have a positive experience in the military, knowing that they are supported by the chain-of-command, and, most importantly, that they can feel safe to be themselves. In my 12-year career, I’ve seen monumental, positive change, and I feel very proud to be part of it.”

This active Borden group is a vibrant part of the Borden community, and is always looking for new members. Sgt Vickery emphasized that you do not need to be a member of the LGBTQ2+ community in order to participate in the group’s mission.

“Allies are more than welcome and encouraged to attend our events,” Sgt Vickery commented. “There are many community service opportunities that we participate in throughout the year that continue to improve the Canadian Armed Forces’ image to the public. Diversity is our strength, and our involvement in the local communities is fundamental in order to achieve our mission and objectives.”

Congratulations to the Borden Pride Network for another year of trailblazing initiatives and making Borden proud!

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