August is Pride month in Montreal, an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the vibrancy and resiliency of the LGBTQ+ community. What a perfect time to reflect on all the progress the Cummings Centre has made towards becoming a more inclusive and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community. Over the course of the last year, the Cummings Centre is proud to have taken the following steps toward greater inclusion and belonging:
Leadership Project: Under the guidance of Keshet, a team of Cummings Centre staff completed a year-long Leadership Project on LGBTQ+ inclusion. The Cummings Centre was awarded a Certificate of Completion in March 2023 for successfully completing one full year of specialized coaching to develop more inclusive organizational policies, programming and cultural practices.
Training for Staff, Board & Members: The Cummings Centre hosted an “Aging Gayfully” training in collaboration with Fondation Émergence, open to all members in August 2022, followed by a Professional Development training on LGBTQ+ inclusion for all Staff and Board members in November 2022.
LGBTQ+ Committee: The Cummings Centre now has a committee made up of staff and volunteers dedicated to LGBTQ+ inclusion. The committee meets on a bimonthly basis and works to increase LGBTQ+ visibility and representation across the Centre.
Charter for the Wellbeing of LGBT Seniors: In May 2023, the Cummings Centre Board of Directors formally adopted the “Charter for the Wellbeing of LGBT Seniors” created by Fondation Émergence. This Charter signals an organization’s commitment to fostering a homophobia-free and transphobia-free environment.
LGBTQ-Themed Events: The Cummings Centre has hosted several amazing LGBTQ-inclusive events in the past year including a Q&A with Amy Schneider, Jeopardy champion and trans activist, as well as two sold-out Dazzling Drag Queen Shows in collaboration with the Segal Centre. Stay tuned for more events to come, including an intergenerational program on “Allyship and Inclusion for LGBTQ+ Youth” in October 2023.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for future LGBTQ-themed programs, or would like to hear more about LGBTQ+ inclusion at the Cummings Centre, please feel free to contact Victoria McNeill, Program Manager, Inclusion & Engagement at [email protected].
The Cummings Centre’s mission is to empower and enhance the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
As the hub of Montreal’s 50+ community, the Centre touches the lives of 10,000 people on an annual basis. In addition to its main campus at 5700 Westbury Avenue in Montreal, programs are offered at several off-site locations including the West Island, Cote Saint-Luc and online.
For more information, please contact us by phone at 514-343-3510, online at www.cummingscentre.org or in person at 5700 Westbury Avenue.