(Reprinted with permission from Cowichan Valley Voice, March 2017, Issue 100 Page 42)
LInda McDaniels is a founding member of with the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative and is a role model for Inclusive Leaders everywhere for thinking globally and acting locally.
On a global, national, and local scale we are seeing a rise in discrimination, unjust practices, violence, and hateful behaviors that are targeted towards people based on differences such as race, faith, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and economic circumstances. There is no time more relevant than now to seek ways to stand up, and stand together, so we can address these divisive and distressing issues.
The Cowichan Intercultural Society is working in collaboration with other local organizations, who have committed, as part of Organizing to Address Racism and Hate in the Cowichan Valley, to develop the Stand Up for Inclusion initiative.
Creating a community where all individuals are healthy (in body and spirit), safe, respected, valued, supported and included might seem like a daunting task however, the Cowichan Valley has been working towards this for decades. It has not been an easy task and yet we have made great strides towards reconciliation and inclusion of diverse identities because of the many efforts, both past and present, that organizations, schools,
institutions, businesses, and community members have given. The goal of Stand Up for Inclusion is to bring these champions together, to identify our strengths and assets, and working collaboratively, to build on this foundation by finding innovative ways to Stand UP For Inclusion in these challenging times.
Currently, representatives from various organizations and identities are participating in trainings and development sessions. The resulting plan will be revealed as part of a workshop/dialogue session in mid April.
How can you become involved with this new initiative? Stay tuned to the Cowichan Intercultural Society’s webpage where updates and opportunities to engage will be posted (www.cis-iwc.org).
We will also be launching an internet-based survey as part of gathering base line data and information about the assets and strengths in our community, the places, spaces and people who are champions for inclusion and who welcome people from all identities every day. And, to be able to report discriminatory practices, normalized behaviors that are unjust, and incidents of discrimination and racism in our community.
For more information contact Linda McDaniels at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-748-3112.