Schulich ExecEd Joins the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies for The Provincial Dress Purple Day Campaign

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Dress Purple Day on Thursday, October 27, presents an opportunity to be part of a community that cares for Ontario children, youth, and families.

As an institution that supports the rights of children and youth in all spaces, Schulich ExecEd is joining the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) in their ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the role that community plays in supporting the safety and well-being of children, youth, and families in Ontario through the provincial Dress Purple Day campaign.

“Schulich ExecEd is a proud partner of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). Through the years, we have hosted custom leadership programs that have helped the Ontario child welfare sector improve the quality of services and supports across Ontario communities, as well as attract, retain, and develop diverse talent. We believe youth and families should have equal access to resources, safety, and opportunities, which is why we are joining OACAS in promoting Dress Purple Day,” says Rami Mayer, Executive Director of Schulich ExecEd, donning a purple shirt. “We feel it is important to acknowledge the range of challenges faced by Ontarians and the need to ensure they know about and have access to services and resources in their communities.”

Schulich ExecEd has partnered with OACAS to develop and deliver successful cohorts of tailored leadership programs. Through intensive training, facilitated by a highly skilled team of Schulich ExecEd faculty, our long-standing partnership has directly supported OACAS’s vision to:

  • Improve the quality of child welfare and family support across Ontario’s communities
  • Attract, motivate, retain, and develop diverse talent and capacity within the Ontario child welfare sector
  • Model the desired leadership competencies at each level

Our unique learning experiences are designed to stretch thinking and spark innovation, while also providing a safe learning environment for both aspiring and seasoned child welfare leaders. Through our partnership, we have helped OACAS and its members explore new ideas and approaches to tackling the important challenges and opportunities that they face every day in their roles.

Refined year after year through our growing partnership, our Leading for Impact programs have contributed to the learning objectives of OACAS. We have:

  • Expanded leadership skills by further developing the communication, emotional intelligence, management, results-orientation, and relationship skills of future Ontario child welfare leaders
  • Provided a means to network, enhance communication lines, and become better linked to each other to share best practices
  • Reinforced the values that guide OACAS—Collaboration, Accountability, Courage, Innovation, Transparency—and established diversity and Anti-Oppressive practices

Our hope is that, in developing leadership skills and providing cross-sectoral knowledge to all levels of leadership in the Ontario child welfare sector, we are contributing to the positive transformation of the province’s child welfare system, rippling positive impacts for all children, youth, families, and care providers across our province and beyond.

The Dress Purple campaign is more important than ever due to the ongoing stress and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the campaign strives to bring awareness to the early help and supportive services available to families facing challenges.

“We value our partnership with Schulich ExecEd and are grateful for their participation in this year’s Dress Purple Day campaign,” says Nicole Bonnie, CEO of OACAS. “The more awareness we can raise about the services and supports available to Ontarians, as well as the role of community in supporting the safety and well-being of children, youth, and families, the better. We are proud to have our partners at Schulich ExecEd on board to help us spread this message in 2022 and beyond.”

We encourage all Ontarians to wear something purple on October 27, 2022, to show your support for the children, youth, and families facing challenges in your community. We are shedding light on the various resources, supports, and services available across the province.

The Dress Purple campaign also emphasizes every child’s and youth’s rights to having their intersectional identities—such as their culture, race, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression—protected and supported. This right extends beyond just their homes, and into their schools, communities, and societies.

It is our collective responsibility to keep our community’s children safe. Together, we can help young people build an understanding of the networks of support that exist around them.

To learn more about the campaign and how you can participate and share its messages with your networks, visit oacas.org/dresspurpleday.