Pride Centre of Edmonton hit with allegations of racism, transphobia
The Pride Centre of Edmonton is facing backlash after one of its employees was fired, sparking allegations of a racist and transphobic culture.
The centre’s executive director called a meeting Saturday to address concerns at the centre, with emotions running high with those in attendance.
Shay Lewis is a former employee of the centre, who was recently terminated. Lewis says no reason was given as to why they were let go from their job.
“What the pride centre has traditionally said and continues to say is well we have one person here so you don't get to complain,” said Lewis. “And it's frustrating because it prevents progress but on top of that it's frustrating because it just shows that lack of faith.”
Dozens attended the meeting with a set of demands, including the reinstatement of Lewis in the job, hiring a consultant to investigate racism at the centre and to invest in healing initiatives.
The majority of the group hoped the centre would grow to better understand the struggles of people of colour and show support for them, while others called out the board and management for not being inclusive.
The centres executive director says he wants the centre to be a place of belonging for everyone.
"Clearly I'm going to make it my goal to have diverse representation in the youth outreach position I have to,” said Quinn Posch, executive director of the Pride Centre of Edmonton.
Lewis’s old position has since been filled and despite calls for his resignations Posch says he will remain in office until the end of his term in August.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Regan Hasegawa