Sarnia Community Rebuilds Inclusive Pride Structure After Vandalism

On Thursday evening, members of the nonprofit Diversity Ed were notified that their Inclusivity Pride flag structure made of perishable cans had been damaged in Lambton Mall.

“It was a mix of emotions. Sadness, pain and anger,” said Adam Gariepy, co-founder of Diversity Ed.

The idea to create the structure out of cans came from Canstruction, a non-profit organization that holds its annual event to collect food for local food banks.

The structure, which took about six hours to assemble, was transformed into a display of a colorful pride flag for inclusivity.

“We really wanted to get some visibility for the 2SLGBTQAI+ community,” Gariepy said.

After discovering that their flag had been damaged and knocked over, the band decided to leave the cans on display in the mall.

“We need to keep a message out there,” said Crystal Fach, executive director and co-founder of Diversity Ed.

“We’re going to leave some of these boxes and let people see what hate looks like because it happens to our community all the time. We are constantly knocked down.

Garipey said community members stepped up to help the very next day.

Lambton Shopping Centre, small businesses and members of the public have brought in more cans so the non-profit can rebuild.

“We are so overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and all the great people who have come out,” Garipey said.

“We decided to build a wall of love,” Fach said. It was devastating for us, but it really brought our communities together.

The cans will be on display in the mall until April 12.

After that date, the cans will be donated to a local food bank to help those struggling with food insecurity, according to Fach.

Ida M. Morgan