Relaunch of SPECTRUM’s Rainbow Diversity Training program and new eLearning modules

In January, SPECTRUM embarked on a year-long capacity-building project – Project Excelsior – which was made possible by a generous grant from the LGBTQ2+ Community Capacity Fund.

At the beginning of the year, we conducted a series of community surveys to identify unmet needs in our community. Those surveys revealed a lack of community support for 2SLGBTQ+ people, and an overall lack of awareness or knowledge of 2SLGBTQ+ people and their experiences. As such, an overhaul and expansion of our Rainbow Diversity Training programs was identified as a key goal necessary to the success of the project.

Throughout the year, the Project Excelsior team has worked hard to expand our previous training into a new series of 2SLGBTQ+ cultural competency training offerings. As the year draws to a close, we’re pleased to be able to announce the relaunch of our Rainbow Diversity Training with two key offerings: workshops for organizations and online eLearning modules for individuals.

Workshops for Organizations

SPECTRUM’s Rainbow Diversity Training workshops help organizations along the path towards becoming more open and welcoming, as well as equitable and accessible to persons of all sexual and gender diversities, both to clients and employees of the organization.

Our series of RDT workshops can help organizations at all stages of their learning process:

●          Rainbow Diversity Training 101

●          Rainbow Diversity Training 102

●          Rainbow Diversity Training 201

●          Rainbow Diversity Training 301

●          Rainbow Diversity Training for Leaders

●          Aging with Pride (for senior-serving organizations)

We also have a one-hour lunch and learn that provides a condensed version of the 101 workshop.

Interested? You can find more information about topics covered in the workshops and pricing here.

Online eLearning modules for individuals

In addition to our training workshops for organization, SPECTRUM is very excited to announce the launch of two new eLearning courses.

Why offer online courses?

The continuing evolution of our cultural understanding of gender and sexuality can sometimes make it difficult for non-2SLGBTQ+ people who want to be respectful to avoid using terms that are outdated and possibly offensive. So SPECTRUM is here to help! SPECTRUM’s Rainbow Diversity Training eLearning courses are meant to help allies and people looking to become allies form basic understandings of 2SLGBTQ+ terms, concepts, and experiences.

SPECTRUM offers two options for eLearning about 2SLGBTQ+ basics:

  • Rainbow Diversity Training 101: a course covering basic terms and concepts
  • Rainbow Diversity Training 102: a supplementary course that covers privilege, intersectionality, and puts the basic terms into context

Users can choose either to purchase access to just the 101 course, or a discounted bundle including both the 101 and 102.

Want to learn more? More information about the courses and purchase options here.

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Introducing the New Rainbow Pages!

SPECTRUM frequently receives requests for information about 2SLGBTQ+-friendly or owned businesses. It’s been some years now since we last published an edition of the Rainbow Pages directory but we are pleased to announce a new edition is available for Fall 2021!

This project was managed by our former Acting Executive Director, Kristy Skelton, and a student intern, Mimika Ahmed Hazra. We are deeply grateful to:

  • United Way Waterloo Region Communities for connecting us with Mimika, without whom this project would not have been possible.
  • All those organizations and individuals who purchased advertising space in the directory.
  • Finally, a special thanks to our interview subjects for sharing their time and expertise with us: Fran Pappert, Kelsi Seifert, Tony Van Giessen, and Washington Silk.

A digital version of the new directory is available for download here. Additionally, a limited number of printed copies are being distributed to various locations throughout the community.

The Rainbow Pages is just one of three resource directories that SPECTRUM has developed. SPECTRUM’s other online resource directories include:

  • TransNAV GPS: an online directory of service providers who are trans-friendly and who are experienced in providing services to local transgender folks.
  • SPECTRUM’s map of gender neutral washrooms across our community. We always welcome feedback and suggestions for new entries. You can send us a message using the form at the bottom of our Contact page.

You can find them all on our Resource Directory page.

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From Grapevine to Online: SPECTRUM creates an online directory of local service providers for the transgender community

From Grapevine to Online: SPECTRUM creates an online directory of local service providers for the transgender community

For those who identify as transgender, learning about service providers was often information shared during an informal chat after peer support meetings at SPECTRUM, an LGBTQ2+ community organization providing a supportive, positive and safe place for people of all ages in Waterloo Region. COVID-19 has temporarily halted those in-person meetings, but accelerated the launch of another initiative to move this information online.

The TransNAV GPS service, created by SPECTRUM, aims to help community members who identify as transgender find local service providers that are friendly to, and knowledgeable about, the transgender community.

“As a result of the lockdown, we found that the grapevine that happened after meetings where people would chat and get referrals for these services suddenly stopped,” says Melissa Kennedy, a SPECTRUM Board Member, transgender services coordinator and the project lead for the TransNAV GPS. “We had been considering this project for a while, and the pandemic really jumpstarted the fulfillment of that need.”

To help the TransNAV GPS project move from concept to action, Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) provided SPECTRUM with $27,500 in funding through the Emergency Community Support Fund. The funding was used to hire consultants, who conducted research on service providers interested in being a part of the project.

“This funding meant we could get the project started, which was the hardest part,” says Kennedy. “At the time, SPECTRUM was purely a volunteer organization, and finding volunteers to work on this during business hours is difficult. So this gave us the ability to hire individuals to work on this solidly for six to eight weeks.”

The online directory currently includes more than 160 local providers in a variety of areas, such as: medical, mental health, employment, legal, housing, social organizations and personal care.

Not only does the directory provide resources in a wide variety of areas, it’s also focused on service providers that are local to Waterloo Region, which was an important element of the project. Kennedy says that often, in order to find trans-friendly and trans-knowledgeable service providers, people have to travel far distances, and at great expense.

“Our real desire is to increase the number of local directory entries so that no one has to drive to Toronto or London to access these services,” says Kennedy.

The TransNAV GPS officially launched on May 13, 2021. Service providers who are interested in being included in the directory can contact transgender-services-director@ourspectrum.com. SPECTRUM also welcomes all feedback, which can be provided through a form on this webpage: www.ourspectrum.com/transnav.

To learn more about SPECTRUM, participate in their programs, or provide support to their initiatives, visit www.ourspectrum.com. For more information about the Emergency Community Support Fund, visit www.kwcf.ca/covid19-ecsf, or email info@kwcf.ca.

View the article at https://www.kwcf.ca/news/spectrum

To learn more about things that SPECTRUM has organized for Pride 2021 check www.ourspectrum.com/pride.

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TransNAV GPS Is Now Live!

TransNAV GPS Is Now Live!

TransNAV GPS is a service that has been developed for SPECTRUM Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space to help transgender-identifying people find service providers within and outside of Waterloo Region. The directory is organized by categories: Medical, Mental Health, Employment, Legal, Housing, Social, Personal, and Other.

This is an evolving resource which we will continue to update. If you know of any services or providers that you would like to see added please send a message to our Trans Services Coordinator or fill in the form at the bottom of this page. Please include as much detail as you can and we will work to get it added to the directory.

TransNAV GPS was developed with funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) administered by the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation  and Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation.

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