1. We recognize that “diversity” refers to the many identities and cultures within our society and within an individual, including race, ethnicity, gender, social class, immigration history, religion, sexual orientation and other identities. Each of these identities has its own culture.
2. Because of our experience as an immigrant and refugee-serving agency, our entry point to diversity discussions may be ethnoracial diversity; however, we acknowledge the overlapping nature of the above identities, and the importance of understanding the impact of them all.
3. We see building diversity awareness and skills as a two-way process. On the one hand, we aim to help people of different identities navigate cultural differences they encounter in mainstream society (and in particular the workplace), and on the other hand we help mainstream society transform to embrace the rich cultural differences that people of different identities bring.
4. We have a responsibility to act in helping to change oppressive behaviours like racism, sexism and classism that present barriers to the success and well-being of community members. This is part of our vision of inclusiveness, and truly opens the doors to diversity.
5. We take an approach to anti-oppression work that is based on the belief that oppressive ideologies like racism, sexism and classism are learned, not inherent. We can educate people in a constructive and caring way, without attacking or blaming them for the ideas that they have absorbed from their environment.
6. We believe that personal story sharing is an important and powerful educational tool for diversity work, and that the expression of emotion that comes with story sharing is a natural, positive thing. We can be a helpful resource to each other as we share experiences in a caring and supportive environment.