What attracts people to an experiential education weekend focused on developing Inclusive Leadership skills, awareness and action plans?
Our Feb 23 to 25, 2018 Inclusive Leadership Adventure was full of youth, adults and elders from throughout Vancouver Island. Our shared goals were to become more mindful and skillful in tending and befriending people and our planet – starting with ourselves and our communities.
The 55 participants came from many different backgrounds:
- DIVERSE GENERATIONS: aged 5 to 75
- DIVERSE CULTURES: we come from many different ancestries, birthplaces, languages, life-styles, interests, experiences, economic circumstances, and other identities
- DIVERSE CONCERNS: such as the United Nations Sustainability Goals, addressing discrimination, welcoming refugees, standing up for the environment, and concerns about bullying; loneliness; and the many violent conflicts throughout our global village.
- DIVERSE ROLES: We all have vital roles to play in living, learning and leading more inclusively in our diverse communities. We are students, activists, support workers, educators and other professionals, volunteers, artists, athletes, farmers, families, friends and many more leadership roles.
- DIVERSE TEAMS: We have several teams from families and extended famiies, teams of advocates and self advocates for people who live with disabilities and health challenges, a team called Safe Youth Cowichan, a team of socially responsible students from their high school, and a team of members of the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative.
Since people from diverse backgrounds do not gather together automatically, we know that each person who has registered has made a thoughtful decision to invest their time in developing their own Inclusive Leadership skills and their skills for facilitating and mentoring Inclusive Leadership with others. Here are a few of the reasons we have heard in the process of supporting people to register:
“Racism and discrimination has happened to me before and I want to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. I think it’s important for everyone to feel equal and safe being who they are.”
“I am working on developing skills for trauma-informed conflict resolution/transformation. I I travel a lot and find myself in a lot of diverse communities. I find myself in many situations where a depth of understanding about inclusive leadership would be helpful to my communities.”
“I am a young adult interested in making a difference in the realms of addiction, mental health, nature therapy, and youth mentorship.”
“My initial interest in the Inclusive Leadership workshop was to support local groups such as Pride Day, our Men’s Support Society and environmental groups…Then, a friend recently introduced me to the term intersectionality, the idea that oppressive institutions (eg. racism, sexism, homophobia) are interconnected and addressing each in isolation has its limits.”
“I’m hard-wired to be inclusive. I believe that gatherings such as Inclusive Leadership, as well as other intentionally inclusive spaces, are medicine for our society.”
“I hope that Inclusive Leadership will give one or more of the youth I am bringing with me the head start it gave me back in 2005 when I was a youth. I want another person to discover the value and gifts they hold within themselves. I really believe being involved with Inclusive Leadership makes a difference. Developing youth so that they understand that they matter, and have gifts and can lead others to this teaching is a real worthwhile investment; and what I know to be the outcome of this training.”
“Inclusive Leadership feels like family to me. With everyone’s encouragement, I am getting more and more involved in my community.”