As we continue the planning and implementation for DOV 2021, Equal Voice wants to reiterate its commitment to ensuring an excellent delegate experience for all in the new iteration of the program.
We know that despite having put in place many support services, some delegates in both the 2017 and 2019 cohorts had a negative experience.
We also know that not all delegates felt welcome in the program, and that we must do better to ensure all delegates feel respected, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability, socio-economic background, and/or their political affiliation.
To those delegates, we are deeply sorry. Our goal is to ensure young women and gender-diverse youth are inspired and engaged in politics, and to have discouraged even one of you is a disappointment and indicates to us that we need to do better.
We recognize that doing better and supporting women and gender-diverse youth from across Canada requires us to critically examine our own internal structures, as well as the institutions we work within.
As a team, and as individuals, we are learning to better recognize our privileges and biases, and the impact they have on each other and our programs. We know we have a long way to go – but are committed to learning and unlearning, to ensure EDI and accessibility are at the heart of all of our work.
We also recognize Equal Voice has a role to play in raising awareness about the racism within modern day politics and how systemic racism and the colonialism embedded within our political institutions has impacted Black, Indigenous and Women of Colours’ participation in politics. We commit to amplify BIPOC voices, and work with political parties, elected officials, candidates, community organizations, and other groups to combat these injustices.