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Spotlight on Nina Savoie Colwell | Pride Q&A

In honour of Pride 2024, Yorkville University is shining a spotlight on some of the members of our 2SLGBTQIA+ Advisory Council. 

Nina Savoie-Colwell, who serves as YU’s eLearning Manager, is one of the co-chairs of the council. She recently sat down to share a little about herself, what Pride means to her, and how she’ll be celebrating this year. Here’s what she had to say: 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the eLearning manager and I have been with Yorkville since 2018, when I started as an eLearning Specialist. I research and teach Acadian French, culture and history in my spare evenings. I am the proud parent of three amazing children aged 19- 2. I am also thrilled to be graduating with my MEd this June from Yorkville University.

Why did you choose to join the 2SLGBTQIA+ Advisory Council?

I chose to join the council, because when I was growing up, I had no allies. I grew up in a family that was passively homophobic and spent the first 7 years of my life in a church now considered a cult. My negative experiences growing up have impacted my desire for positive change. I’ve faced discrimination, struggled with my identity, as well as witnessed the challenges faced by others. These experiences drive my commitment to advocacy and support. Joining the council provides an opportunity to actively contribute to positive change. Members can influence policies, raise awareness, and work toward a more inclusive society. Their passion for equality and justice motivates me to be part of this important initiative.

The theme for 2024 Pride is about unity, resilience and acceptance encapsulated in the phrase “Be__________”. What are you choosing to be?

True. To be true to myself.

What does Pride Month mean to you?

It means visibility, and community.

How will you be celebrating Pride this year?

I’ll probably walk with my family in the Pride Parade. We have walked as a family in the Fredericton Pride Parade every year except one since we moved here in 2018.

How can individuals work towards allyship?

Educate yourself, take the time to learn about the communities, their experiences, and the challenges they face. Read books, articles, and attend workshops to gain a deeper understanding. Speak up, use your privilege to advocate for others. When you witness discrimination or harmful behaviour, speak up and challenge it. Be an ally by amplifying marginalized voices.

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