On Wednesday, April 13, Jer’s Vision will mark its sixth anniversary with a Day of Pink gala at Tabaret Hall, on the University of Ottawa campus.
The event will celebrate Jer’s Vision work in schools and youth communities to stop bullying, homophobia and all types of discrimination.
Jeremy Dias is the executive director and founder of Jer’s Vision.
“It’s amazing because six years ago, when we first started, it was running out of a living room with just volunteers, and today it is an internationally recognized charity that is doing work across the country,” says Dias.
Guests of honour at the gala will be Stephen Lewis and Brian Burke, who will both receive Youth Role Model of the Year Awards.
Burke is the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will receive the award because of his work in addressing homophobia in sports.
“He’s cooler than sliced bread because he’s the first dude to talk about anti-homophobia on Hockey Night in Canada,” says Dias.
Lewis will receive the award for his work on HIV/AIDs.
“Specifically, [it’s for] his work to address the stigma of HIV/AIDs and also his work on promoting the decriminalizing of homosexuality,” says Dias.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands will also receive an award in celebration of being the first country to legalize same-sex marriage a decade ago.
The gala is a free and accessible event open to everyone. There is only one criteria: everyone must wear pink in celebration of the Day of Pink, the international day against bullying, discrimination and homophobia in schools and communities. According to Dias, more than 5.5 million people have registered to take part in the one-day event.