I’ve always intended this blog (which is derived from my monthly newsletter) to support nonprofits in their growth, operations, governance and strategic planning. This month is the same, but with a twist.
It’s interesting to me that the first time the suggestion of having my pronouns stated with my various profiles (email, Zoom, LinkedIn) felt unnecessary, and yet now it seems only respectful to do so. I am not sure what shifted in me, but I like it. And I hope to grow more in my recognition and understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), and do my part as a privileged white man.
But, as a privileged white man, who is learning about his own privilege, I am not the best person to speak. Instead, I want to share some valuable information about three areas of privilege that comes from people that know more than I. Those three areas being the use of pronouns; equity, diversity, and inclusion; and a guide to bystander harassment.
1. Here are three great links that my friend Katie Derksen of Winnipeg recently posted on LinkedIn about the use of our pronouns in our profiles:
Talking about Pronouns in the Workplace, from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
On the topic of email signatures
The MyPronouns resource guide from the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba
2. I’ve had the good fortune of meeting someone that sure knows a lot more about EDI than I, both from her own lived experience and her educational background, as well as the work that she is passionate about.
To that point, I’d like to invite you to join Valeria Cortés and I in our upcoming Zoom session(s) through Volunteer Victoria, Inclusion: Transforming The Way In Which Boards Engage In EDI Practices. As a teaser: ‘Did you know that diversity brings more creativity and innovation, better decision making, and better problem solving? Frankly, there’s enough evidence to support that thinking that comes from demographic diversity and how it can improve performance. (Fitzsimmons, 2020).’
3. And from my friend, Sheila Gauthier of Victoria, here is a link to some incredibly practical tips about being a bystander witnessing harassment:
“If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone you don’t know is being harassed, and you as a bystander are unsure what to do, here’s a guide for that uncomfortable time. One of the common reasons people don’t take action is because nobody else is doing anything.
The 5 D’s: Distract, Delegate, Delay, Direct, Document.
If you’re a person with privilege the chances are you have the power to help the person who is being harassed who likely does not have that same power.
May we all have the courage to use any of these strategies should the need arise. Show Up. Your Guide To Bystander Intervention brought to us by Hollaback! a global, people-powered movement to end harassment — in all its forms.”
And now, I’d like to introduce you to an organization in Winnipeg called Sscope. They have done an amazing job pivoting, and actually growing, through the pandemic:
Sscope Inc. is a social enterprise quite like no other. We are a registered charity and non-profit that provides training and volunteer opportunities as well as casual and part-time employment through our diverse business streams to those overcoming and managing a mental illness. Our peer-led supportive environment helps to empower the individual and may augment a person’s journey of recovery, bolstering self-confidence, and self-worth. Our main activities are: 1. Thrift Store 2. Lawn & Yard Care/Snow Clearing 3. Moving and Deliveries 4. Garbage removal 5. Hoarding cleanup 6. Bug clean up/prep. 7. E-Waste Recycling and 8. Sspokes – Our newest business enterprise, a bike shop where community members can access tools, have their bikes repaired/serviced, or they can purchase a bike that has been rebuilt by our Sscope members. SSCOPE Inc. also supports people with disabilities, people living with mental health issues, people living with substance use disorder, youth exiting the child welfare system, individuals experiencing food insecurity, people exiting a corrections facility, and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Our new space is at 865 Main Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A fully accessible centre where we welcome walk-ins, and referrals for our 24/7 Safe Space and transitional housing program. Our Residents are provided 3 warm meals daily, have access to our shower and laundry facilities and personal hygiene products, as well as have access to phone and computers to stay connected with family and other supports. Sscope Inc. encourages participation and volunteering within the organization and business enterprises to build confidence and responsibility, as well as gain valuable life skills. Programs and activities foster community connections and combat feelings of isolation. We want to promote self-sufficiency by providing a safe environment where individuals can build resiliency. You can visit us at sscope.org or send us an email at email@example.com.
Staff: Dave, John, Angela, Evangeline, Adele, Rubina, and Sscopers Sudhir and Billy.