Aug. 25, 2021
When students walk out the front doors at
Jack James High School this school year, they will be greeted by a powerful symbol of acceptance: an inclusive Pride crosswalk.
The new landmark — the first permanent crosswalk at a Calgary Board of Education site — was unveiled to students and teachers on Aug. 25. The flag reflects the design of graphic artist Daniel Quasar, with its signature five-coloured chevron added to the six-stripe LGBT rainbow flag. The Chevron points toward the school, which serves as an intentional nod to the learning community.
“As we grow and educate ourselves, we can then have an impact on the community. That was important for the kids. We need to do the work here first so we can go out to the community and explain why this symbol of inclusion is so important,” said Principal Jennifer Gorkoff.
The permanent public art installation comes a couple of years after students at the school painted a washable Pride crosswalk to raise awareness of the fight for 2SLGBTQ+ rights. When students return to school in September, the school is expected to host an official acknowledgement of the installation.
“We are committed to creating safe, caring, and respectful learning environments in all of our schools where all students and staff feel comfortable expressing themselves,” said Christopher Usih, chief superintendent of schools. “The addition of a Pride crosswalk at Jack James High School sends the message that everyone is welcome at their school.”
The crosswalk painting was completed by EverLine Coatings, a professional line painting and pavement maintenance company. It was made possible by ActivateYYC, a microgrant initiative by the Federation of Calgary Communities.
Jack James High School received additional support from its school council, the Forest Lawn Community Association, the CBE's Sexual Orientation Gender Identity team, as well as other CBE leaders, teams and community stakeholders.
From left to right: Maxx (they/them/he/him), Percy (he/him), Jennifer Gorkoff (she/her), Damien (he/him) celebrate the unveiling of the inclusive Pride crosswalk at Jack James High School on Aug. 25