At CampBrain, we think a lot about our culture; how can we build a company that is intentionally welcoming & inclusive? How can we cultivate a sense of belonging? Just like summer camps, we care deeply about how our people feel, when they are here.
When we create a strategic plan for CampBrain, we start with Culture. Building a great team is our top priority, and our culture is where that happens. In our current Strategic Plan, we commit to building an internal space that nurtures respect and care for each other, embraces our uniqueness, and creates a welcoming environment for all. We are working to accomplish this with a variety of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.
A welcoming environment is one where everyone feels they belong. One way to cultivate that sense of belonging is by celebrating and acknowledging cultural events and awareness days that are meaningful to our team. These cultural dates offer an opportunity to get to know each other better and connect.
Our DEI Committee asked the company what holidays, events, and awareness days were important to us, and selected four to highlight. The committee also offered Brainers support, if they wished to take the lead on a cause, event, or holiday they were passionate about. Even Brainers observing the same holidays might have very different ways of doing so!
Pride Month was selected by the DEI Committee, with leadership from members Paul & Andrea. We wanted to find a way to recognize Pride that raised awareness of its roots in protest & social justice, while also celebrating the joy & accomplishments of the queer community.
We hosted an online Watch Party of the 1990 documentary ‘Paris Is Burning’, and guided Brainers to watch and reflect with the lens of Intersectionality & Pride.
Brainers considered two questions before watching the film: “What do you think of, when you think of Intersectionality & Pride?”, and “What questions do you have about Intersectionality & Pride?”. Answers were shared anonymously on a Google Jamboard, so we could reflect again after the film to see how our thinking had changed.
For the watch party, or anytime through their Pride month, Brainers were invited to prepare & share their interpretation of a Pride Platter of snacks, and their best Bedtime Realness look! We will be sharing all the photos in a Pride Photo Parade at the end of June.
We will continue our learning with a follow-up discussion guided by Reframe, a Toronto-based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training program. We’ll be gathering in July to talk about the theme of Pride & Intersectionality, learn from Reframe’s facilitators, and share how our understanding has changed.
As Ruchika Tulshyan shared in conversation with Brené Brown, creating a culture of inclusion requires not only changes in organizational behaviours, but also changes in individual behaviours.
With our initiatives around cultural celebrations & awareness, we are working to both develop long-lasting, welcoming company traditions, and to support individual Brainers in their learning and growth. Through celebrating and learning, we can connect with each other & embrace the intersectional identities that make us each unique.
We hope you will join us in celebrating and raising awareness of the 2SLGBTQ+ community this June.
Happy Pride, from all of us at CampBrain!