Survey from Diversity Thunder Bay
Candidate’s Name: Lawrence Badanai
Electoral Position Running for: Trustee of the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Diversity Thunder Bay Mission Statement: Diversity Thunder Bay works toward an inclusive, equitable community that is free of racism and discrimination of any kind.
1. a)How important to you is it to have such a community?
It is very important for us to have a community that works toward an inclusive, equitable community that is free of racism and discrimination of any kind. Catholic schools are supposed to be communities of inclusion, as Catholic education builds upon the established community of faith to help students experience a socially conscience society of acceptance of one another and of our differences. No matter where a student is; at home, church, school, or out in our community, they should feel comfortable with being proud of their culture and what makes them unique and never feel afraid to share their culture or beliefs. We need to respect and learn from each other and work together as a community where our own diversity actually makes us stronger as a whole. We need to continue working on fostering and creating positive environments for students that the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board (TBCDSB) serves. There is a known link of success between student achievement and students being in a positive environment where they feel included, valued, respected and safe. Our school environments should be inclusive places of learning that enables students to grow, be respected for their beliefs, and encourage them to strive for their personal best.
b) How would you work towards this priority as a publicly elected official?
We need to continue to learn and celebrate all of our cultural diversity and demonstrate to our children about being proud of their cultural background. The cultural teachings in our schools need to reflect our children’s society and the world which surrounds them. Schools are great places for children to learn about diversity, racism, and discrimination. We need to continue to support programs that enrich student’s learning of culture and diversity while also listening to suggestions from students, parents, teachers, and other community advisory groups. The TBCDSB can help foster their ideas and initiatives for the betterment of our entire school environments and community. I would work toward forming and strengthening these partnerships with other community groups and/or students, provide support and resources for their programs to be developed and sustained in our schools. Let’s work together to make our school communities places of accessibility, compassion, inclusion, & sharing.