Jacq Brasseur has made a significant impact on the University of Regina as a student, student union representative, and executive director of the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. They are a community organizer, support worker, and advocate for marginalized students, faculty, staff and community members. Brasseur came to Regina via Yellowknife’s Aurora College which has a Social Work academic transfer partnership with the University of Regina.
“Just like many other people who studied social work, I entered my field because I wanted to help people,” they say. “Working at UR Pride means that I get to help 2SLGBTQ+ people every day who are navigating the impacts of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. It’s also really amazing that I get to work in a place where I can be authentic about who I am. That’s not the reality for everybody, and I know that I’m lucky to be able to work in an environment where I can be unapologetically queer.”
Through UR Pride, Brasseur started several initiatives that have enhanced the overall diversity and strength of the University of Regina, including Colourful Campus Housing and Monarch Mental Health.
“In terms of the work directly on campus, I’m definitely proudest of being able to partner with Housing Services on campus to bring Colourful Campus House to life,” says Brasseur. “This was an idea I had back when I was first living on campus, and it was amazing to get to see it happen. The opportunity for queer and trans students at the U of R to have access to inclusive campus housing with other queer and trans people is something that I’m proud of having developed with the U of R.”
In addition to these initiatives, Brasseur also expanded UR Pride’s Positive Space Network program, which provides professional development and education in the fields of 2SLGBTQ+ histories, current issues and intersectional allyship. They are currently pursuing a Master of Education degree in curriculum development, with a focus on 2SLGBTQ+ diversity education programs.
Brasseur has received national acclaim for their advocacy and volunteerism, both for their work at UR Pride and for the work they have done in Canada’s North. In 2011, Jacq co-founded two organizations in the Northwest Territories: NWT Pride, an organization responsible for organizing an annual Pride festival; and the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife, a 2SLGBTQ+ focused organization that opened its doors to a drop-in location under Brasseur’s guidance.
They are very appreciative to receive an ACAA for humanitarianism and community service.
“It really means a lot to be recognized by an institution that I regularly challenge or push to be better,” Brasseur says. “There have been a few times where I’ve written angry tweets or sent frustrated emails, but the fact that the University is recognizing my contributions to our campus and community means a lot to me. It tells me that they see the value in having people who love the University and challenge it to be better. If you ask me, that’s what makes the U of R great.”
When they’re not working, Brasseur can be found spending time with friends or engaging in social justice in Regina. They’re passionate about civic engagement and love getting involved in the community.