Centre Wellington homes and businesses can show their support for an inclusive community with a new sign campaign that declares hate isn’t welcome in Centre Wellington.
Two Centre Wellington activists, Curt Hammond and Diane Ballantyne, have partnered with a Fergus-based printing company to spark the conversation around what an inclusive community looks like.
Hammond said in a phone interview Tuesday an approachable way to begin to show support by putting a sign at their home or business.
“People are starting to think about this, what does it mean to be a welcoming community, what does it mean to be an inclusive community and what’s my role in it?” Hammond said.
“A sign is a good way, I think, to build some momentum around that conversation and for people it’s a comfortable way for people to say ‘yeah I want to be part of that conversation.’”
Ballantyne expanded on this idea in a press release stating it takes a community to tackle these issues through starting conversations.
“We cannot let what we have seen in London, in Indigenous communities and right here in Wellington County go unchecked or unchallenged,” Ballantyne said.
“We know that it takes a community to stand up against hate and we hope these signs are a way for families and businesses to show their support for an inclusive and welcoming Centre Wellington.”
He explained this started with him and Ballantyne seeing the design, posted by a graphic design studio in Oakville but originally started from a Twitter user who preferred to remain anonymous.
The signs read “Hate has no home here” and includes hands of different skin colours, holding icons from different inclusivity movements including: the pride rainbow, Every Child Matters, different faith icons, accessibility symbols and Black Lives Matter imagery.
The Oakville studio is encouraging people to download it, and links to downloadable and printable signs and colouring sheets are available here.
A professionally printed sign is also available from Alpha Graphics and Signs for $10. Hammond praised owner Jeff Katerberg’s willingness to provide support for this initiative.
“I love this design and know the power that signs have and hope this initiative gets us talking about what we can do to ensure we are a welcoming community,” Katerberg said in a press release.
To help manage production, interested parties are asked to pre-order with pick-up and payment details to follow. Hammond encouraged placing the order as soon as possible as pick-up is expected to begin June 25.
Hammond said it’s important to note this is a first-step towards having bigger and harder conversations around inclusiveness in Centre Wellington.
“I think what Diane and I are hoping is that we can be, as a community, talking and thinking about what else we can be doing to make sure we’re being as open and welcoming to others,” Hammond said.
“I don’t know what that looks like specifically yet, we welcome people’s feedback, quite frankly, on what that looks like. We need to remind ourselves that a sign is a good start but we’ve got lots of work after that.”
Pre-order and other information can be found here.