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STAND UP AGAINST RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, INEQUALITY, AND HATE
The Equity & Inclusion Task Force (E&I Task Force) is focussed on building a safer and more inclusive community for everyone in the Quw’utsun’ Territory/Cowichan Valley, in the province known as British Columbia.
The Equity & Inclusion Task Force at the Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS) is a new task force that is replacing the Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) Committee that was previously facilitated by CIS.
Because we know that much of the inequality is a direct result of colonization and systemic racism, the focus of the E&I Task Force is on anti-racism initiatives. We like to focus on the outcome rather than the problem, which is why we chose Equity & Inclusion as our name.
What does the task force do?
The Task Force is the action-based part of the Resilience BC Anti Racism Network, in which you can read about here: Anti Racism & Resilience BC
With the E&I Task Force, we work for racial justice with all those who seek it. Some of the general activities we have planned for the year ahead include planning and facilitating awareness campaigns, educating the public on common misconceptions of race and ethnicity, and decolonization initiatives.
We also focus on identifying the effects of colonization and determining actionable steps we can take to protect Black, Indigenous and People of Colour from mass systems of oppression, as well as hidden prejudice. We work from an anti-oppression, systems-thinking lens.
We encourage and welcome all thought-leaders and changemakers to work with us on the task force to help make the Cowichan Valley a better and safer place for all.
People from all over Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the entire world are permitted to join, however work will be focussed on the Cowichan Valley specifically. Members must be familiar with the Cowichan Valley and surrounding areas.
All ages above 16 years old, all ethnicities, genders, and career specializations are welcome.
We meet approximately 6 times per year in a digital or social distance in-person format. In addition, we also have frequent interactions and conversations via Slack to keep inspired and continue with the important tasks put in motion.
Some members of the task force may spend more time than others while leading initiatives and programs. Some members may take on more of an advisory role.
As the task-force coordinator, Erin Blondeau will support all members and work to amplify the ideas of community members. The amount of time spent on initiatives in the task force depends on the work that you are interested in doing. The time you decide on may fluctuate with every project. You can choose to spend anywhere from 1-10+ hours per month.
Currently, there is no cost associated with joining the task force. It is a volunteer opportunity.
In joining the Equity & Inclusion Task Force, you will be participating in a government-funded program to reduce racism and hate in our communities. You will be an integral part in creating a safer and more inclusive community by working toward historic culture-changing initiatives and policies. In addition, our youth members will make important connections for their career paths in social justice, government, humanitarianism, and graduate school.
Some of the opportunities include writing, graphic design, marketing, protest organization, public outreach, awareness campaigns, book clubs, event planning, and leadership. Please visit this page for more information on volunteer positions currently available.
The Equity & Inclusion Task Force has been set up by the Cowichan Intercultural Society, previously known as the Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) Committee. Although the E&I Task Force is new, we have big plans set up for the upcoming year and beyond.