Category Archives: Inclusive Bridge Building

Discovering Our Vital Roles in Our Diverse Communities

All community members have the potential to become Inclusive Leaders. The more skilled we each become at embracing our own and others’ diverse identities the more we are each able to contribute to building sustainable communities, “…We must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play.” (Earth Charter)

Gerry Masuda has been a friend and supporter of Inclusive Leadership since 2006, when he participated in a week of experiential Inclusive Leadership Education. This experience ten years ago was part of his on-going search for his meaningful and vital leadership roles in his community. Continue reading

Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential!

Submitted by Linda Hill

In Inclusive Leadership we view differences as gifts. One of my differences that I often offer to the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative is my love of researching. My big research question for this past year has been: “What are the most effective ways for the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative to go about adapting our renowned experiential education workshops and weekend retreats into online courses?” 

Nine Participatory Action Researchers sharing leadership!

It has been such a joy-filled and satisfying experience to team up with a couple of dozen Inclusive Leaders for a year of Participatory Action Research into how to offer Inclusive Leadership Online. Here is a big shout out of thanks to everyone involved in the Inclusive Leadership Online Committee, the IL Practice Group, and the recent video interviews.

One of the outcomes of all this research is that our introductory  online course for students, professionals, volunteers and leaders everywhere will make it’s debut this fall.

Here is a short video clip of me introducing “Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential.” 

Did you see Mohammad Binaz’s interview a couple of weeks back? We will be posting more interviews in August when I get back from holidays!


I invite you to watch this video, and then go to our Inclusive Leadership for our Global Village Online Course Platform to read the description and curriculum outline for this course and for the Inclusive Leadership Practice Group. 

Registration for both Inclusive Leadership Online offerings will open in September.

We hope you will consider signing up and we hope you will encourage your colleagues, co-workers, volunteers, students, and friends in other communities to take these courses too. Everyone who gets involved in the first “Discover Your Inclusive Leadership Potential” will be both a student AND a Participatory Action Researcher!

With your participation and feedback, we will gradually develop a series of interactive, online Inclusive Leadership courses enhanced by live video gatherings. We hope that Inclusive Leadership Online will quickly become a lively, vibrant mutual mentoring hub for authentic Inclusive Leaders who are connecting across time, space and diversity with other caring and courageous Inclusive Leaders around the world.

Education for Sustainable Development Workshop at Africa Clean Up Conference 2017

In his workhops in Ghana, Nigeria and other parts of the world – Joshua Amponsem teaches the importance of diversity and inclusion for sustaining our beautiful planet. We will be posting an interview with Joshua soon! In the meantime, this post about his workshop is fascinating reading.

Joshua Amponsem

The workshop which was held on the 7th of July, 2017 started with a brief Q&A on the importance of diversity and inclusion. In about 15 minutes the group had given a lot of reasons why diversity is important but only a few people mentioned inclusion. This was good and this formed an integral part of the workshop. It was my objective that by the end of the session, participants will not only appreciate diversity but also understand the need for inclusion.

I projected a slide which talked about diversity and I used my obsession with nature (particularly the ocean) to explain the reason why diversity is not enough until inclusion is established. I said, “When I watch any documentary about the ocean, I get excited and I think you all do – why? Because the ocean gives a lot of beauty – it’s colorful with a lot of…

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Being an Inclusive HR Manager

This is part 1 of a 2 part blog-post submitted by Jackie

Jackie recently shifted from a career in Human Resources to a career as a writer and Mom. When she’s not writing  and spending quality time with her family, Jackie volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and looks after her menagerie of pets. When Jackie discovered the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative website, she identified with the values and skills involved in Inclusive Leadership and generously contributed this article about being an Inclusive HR Manager.

I learned to become an Inclusive Leader during my years working as a Human Resource Manager for a small home health company. This experience helped me to change my thinking and believe that a complaint is an opportunity to understand what our employees need in order to be successful. I also learned that a company can be proactive and try to create an inclusive environment that heads off problems early. The way to be an Inclusive Leader is by developing four important Inclusive Leadership skills: connecting with differences, communicating with compassion, standing up for inclusion, and building bridges.  This post Focuses on connecting and communicating. 

Connecting With Differences

With our workforce becoming more diverse, human resource professionals need to develop skills to connect with different people. The first step to successful connection is approaching differences in a relaxed manner. Being calm and present leads to relaxation. An easy way to be in the moment and relax is to practice deep breathing. Mindfulness can be reached by a number of practices and outlets, some examples are: exercise, creativity, playing with children, or meditation. Through relaxation, we are more open minded and receptive to different people and opinions.

Business are more successful with different personalities and perspectives. The same people with the same world views will miss problems or creative solutions. The HR department is the hiring arm of business, so making the decision to embrace different people, or daring to be different, will empower you to seek out talent that will help your company. Think about and embrace different ways you can understand and accommodate different cultures, traditions, races, etc. and speak up for those ideas.

To help you embrace differences, it is important to connect with different circles of communities. Through participation and education, you will also be able to manage the stress and keep up with self care as you understandably go through a culture shock when working with unfamiliar communities. So join new groups and adapt to different dynamics within the group; welcome visitors and newcomers to any group and be inclusive when different groups are brought together.

Letting go of the win/lose model of thinking will help you be more inclusive, so approach problem solving cooperatively. When problems arise at work, try to bring all parties involved into the solution for a win win approach. A skill needed during this process is refocusing and reframing the situation by asking open ended questions and making suggestions. This will encourage people to compromise, especially since they have a seat at the table.

Finally, connecting with differences means not forgetting those that lead behind us. Don’t forget the employees who are not part of your immediate sphere. People who lead behind the scenes may see solutions and problems you don’t see as the HR manager. Everyone in your organization is important, but be careful to ask permission to include him or her. An inclusive group means that participation is voluntary.

Communicating with Compassion

Listening is an important part of communicating. It isn’t effective communication if you don’t clearly understand the other person’s position. The person you are talking with will be appreciative if you understand and respond to his or her needs. To become a better listener, don’t just hear the words someone is saying, but pay attention to nonverbal clues. If an employee is telling you everything is fine, but her arms are crossed, she won’t make eye contact, and her voice is wobbly, then she is upset. But also don’t forget your own verbal cues. You want to exude calmness and openness, so don’t lean across the table and stare down the person. Ensure you are focused on the conversation, and be kind and vigilant. Kindness comes easy when you are empathetic to the person’s feelings and needs, so listen without judgement to what the employee is sharing with you. Don’t get distracted by your own story or by electronic devices (put down the cell phone or turn off the computer screen).

When responding to an employee who is sharing a problem or upsetting situation, share facts to ensure you understand without judging. Show concern with the individual by sharing feelings and follow up on how she is feeling. Ask what is important to her. Let people choose how they want to respond, as there is a difference between demanding and requesting. The latter empowers people because choice is part of the equation. Don’t overwhelm the individual with too many questions or requests. Open ended questions are also best.

In your career or in your community you may have to overcome language barriers. If you have an employee who speaks a different language than English as their first-language you will have to be patient and creative.  Possibly look into interpreter services.

If you are intimidated by this information don’t lose heart. Inclusivity does not mean perfection. There is no such thing as perfection. But if you are an Inclusive Leader, even when you make the inevitable mistake, by being open, warm and understanding you will have employees communicating with you. You will learn from your mistakes. And your company will be better for the lesson.

Click the “Follow” button on this website and you will be notified by email when Part 2 of Being and Inclusive HR Manager is is published.

June 2 to 4 Inclusive Leadership Cooperative Annual Gathering

If you are passionate about diversity….

Time to come on your own or with a group to our

Annual Inclusive Leadership Co-operative Gathering 

Friday June 2 to Sunday, June 4, 2017 

Cowichan Lake Education Centre, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Click here to go straight to the registration form or read on for more information.

Our annual Inclusive Leadership Co-operative Gatherings are wonderful opportunities for everyone interested in or involved in Inclusive Leadership. You are invited to spend 1, 2, or all 3 days exploring, sharing and celebrating the multitude of ways Inclusive Leaders are transforming communities by embracing diversity.

  • We invite you to bring your family, friends, colleagues and  intercultural/intergenerational groups of students/teachers or leaders/youth or new leaders/experienced leaders
  • We invite returning Inclusive Leaders to facilitate participatory workshops and activities that will involve us in exploring your Inclusive Leadership work in the world.

“We are part of a world-wide movement made up of individuals and groups who care about people and the planet in ways that are life-enriching and life-sustaining. We look forward to learning with and from everyone who attends the gathering.”(Kix Citton, ILC Founding Member).



Where: Cowichan Lake Education Centre, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada is on 44 acres of forested lakefront with delicious meals, a variety of accommodation, a beautiful beach, lots of trails, and plenty to do in the area.

When:  Friday afternoon, June 2 to Sunday afternoon June 4, 2017


Who is Inclusive Leadership for? If you are wondering whether or not you are choice 2part of the Inclusive Leadership Community, you already are. Every single person who values safety, respect, equality and joy has a vital role to play in building welcoming and inclusive communities based on embracing differences as gifts that enrich our world. Inclusive Leadership is for individuals. families, and groups. Government, non-profits, schools, co-operatives, and businesses are invited to send adults and youth. Inter-generational groups of adults, youth and children are encouraged to register.

Click here to meet new and experienced Inclusive leaders of all ages, cultures and backgrounds from our June 2016 ILC Gathering.

Participation Fees:  The Inclusive Leadership Co-operative runs on the spirit of generosity with people paying what we can comfortably afford. Use the fee schedule below to figure out the cost for you and other members of your group. Then – when you go to the registration form you can choose between paying these fees, requesting a sponsorship, or you can help sponsor someone by contributing a little more.

All Inclusive Costs for Friday June 2 to Sunday , June 4:

  • Commuting: Adult: $190. Youth: $85. Children: $60
  • Dormitory: Adult: $250. Youth: $120. Children: $75
  • Shared room: Adult: $300. Youth: $150 Children (sharing with parent/guardian): $75
  • Private room: Adult: $400. Youth: $200 Children n/a

Or use these adult-rates to calculate your fees: The cost for Youth (Y) age 12 to 18 is 1/2 of the adult fees. The cost for Children (C) age 4 to 11 is 1/3 of the adult fees. No cost for children age 0 to 3.

Venue Use Fee:  $50 for all 3 days or $40 for any 2 days or $20 for any 1 day.

Accommodation: Dormitory: $30 per night. Shared room: $50 per night. Private room: $100 per night.

Meals: Breakfast: $20 per meal. Lunch: $25 per meal. Dinner: $25 per meal.

dsc_9120All generations are welcome:  The inter-generational aspect of Inclusive Leadership is so rewarding! We welcome groups of youth and adult mentors to come together. We also welcome post-secondary students and young adults to come on your own.


Child-Minding: We will support you with child-minding by offering active child-and-youth-friendly alternatives to choose during workshop sessions. Inclusive Leadership Gatherings can easily include your whole family age 0 to 90!

earth-charter-102Diverse Abilities: Our diverse abilities are gifts that enrich our communities and the wider world! Cowichan Lake Education Centre is a very accessible venue and Inclusive Leaders know that sharing leadership is the key to planning for an accessible and meaningful experience for everyone. Please phone or email us to discuss whatever accommodations and supports you require for yourself or someone who is coming with you.


IMG_5519For more information and to register: Phone: 250-746-6141



Click here to go to the on-line registration form.

Click here to learn more about our Global Framework – The International Earth Charter.

Click here for comments from Past Participants

Click here to read our ILC Gathering Sample Agenda from 2016

Spotlight on Raj Gill: a Pioneering Inclusive Leader

Raj Gill co-founded Inclusive Leadership Adventures and the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative and so she truly is a pioneering Inclusive Leader!

Raj is also Director of Prosperity Circles Coaching International and an internationally reknowned Non-Violent Communication trainer certified by the International Centre for Nonviolent Communication.

Raj combines Inclusive Leadership, Communication with Compassion and Emotional Intelligence in her international coaching and facilitating practice. Continue reading