DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

Love is Love

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION

 “I am committed to practicing in a way that is anti-racist, anti-oppressive and engaged in social justice. I am committed to equity, diversity and inclusivity. I strive to create an accessible environment that honours difference and respects all persons. I remain open to feedback on how to make my practice safer and more accessible for everyone.”

I am writing this statement to update my clients, colleagues and community on my commitment to anti-racism. As part of my work in this area, I have taken the anti-racist small business pledge, presented by Rachel Rodgers and her co-facilitators in the Reimagining Small Business Town Hall. This pledge includes actionable steps for engaging in anti-racist small business practice. These are the steps I am currently taking to reimagine my own small business. I encourage my fellow white small business owners (and friends and family, and really anyone reading this) to think of the ways that they can work to be more anti-racist. 

  1. Personally examine the impact of white supremacy in my professional and personal life. Continue to challenge myself by engaging with content (podcasts, books, articles, films) that further my understanding and learning. Engage in conversations with my colleagues and peers about the racist and white supremacist structures that underlie the work that I do both as a social worker and as a counsellor. 

  2. Continue to engage in anti-racist education. I have committed money and time to training and courses with the goal of furthering my education. It will be my goal to continue to invest in these opportunities regularly. 

  3. I will allow space for community members to be heard and will not shy away from discomfort or conflict. I will open my space up for conversations that have previously felt hard, and will work to have culturally responsive communications. 

  4. I commit to investing a portion of my monthly budget in the Black community and another portion of my monthly budget in the Indigenous, POC and LGBTQ communities respectively. I will buy Black-authored books from Black vendors, purchase training and courses from Black educators and endeavour to support presently-marginalized communities financially, whenever possible. 

  5. I will “create a permanent statement that illustrates [my] commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity [DEI] and anti-racism that goes on all of [my] external facing documents” (Town Hall Pledge). I have modified my original DEI statement to include specific reference to anti-racism. The statement is as follows: I am committed to practicing in a way that is anti-racist, anti-oppressive and engaged in social justice. I am committed to equity, diversity and inclusivity. I strive to create an accessible environment that honours difference and respects all persons. I remain open to feedback on how to make my practice safer and more accessible for everyone.

  6. Finally, I will continue to review and revise this list and my commitments as I learn, recognizing that I will not be perfect in my attempt at this work, but being “humble and ready to fumble” (Ericka Hines, Town Hall).

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