Bridges of Belonging is an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations on belonging and how it impacts our individual and collective journeys. Moderated by Andrea Carey, a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional, these sessions will feature two guests sharing their stories of belonging in their lived experiences. We are surrounded by diversity, and there is increasing appreciation that we need to create inclusive spaces and places in order to support the success of our diverse workforces and clients - but until we find ways to creates cultures where each person can belong, we will struggle to support people to thrive.
These conversations are an opportunity to think about our connections – and how we can be intentional in appreciating each other, listening to understand, acknowledging that we don’t know what we don’t know, and going on a learning journey together to share, learn, connect, and create.
Favoriser l’appartenance est la version française de « Bridges of Belonging » et vous offre la chance de participer à des discussions significatives sur le sentiment d’appartenance et son impact sur nos vies quotidiennes et dans nos milieux. Animées par Fannie Smith, une spécialiste en inclusion agréée du Centre canadien pour la diversité et l’inclusion, chacune de ces sessions mettra en vedette deux personnes qui partageront leurs expériences vécues et leur relation avec la notion d’appartenance.
La diversité nous entoure et nous sommes de plus en plus conscients que nous devons créer des espaces inclusifs et sécuritaires nous permettant de contribuer au bonheur de notre clientèle et au succès de nos équipes de travail. Ce n’est que lorsque nous pourrons créer des environnements auxquels chaque personne pourra appartenir et contribuer que nous aurons atteint l’objectif d’une société qui prospère vraiment.
Ces discussions nous donneront l’opportunité de réfléchir sur nos relations l’un envers l’autre, nous offrant des outils pour nous permettre d’être intentionnel dans nos actions, d’écouter pour comprendre, de réaliser que nous ne pouvons tout savoir et que notre parcours ensemble est un processus de formation permanente.
Jeff McLean is one of the founders of Pride Tape, an international movement designed to bring inclusivity and support to the LGBTQ+ community primarily through hockey. Their signature rainbow hockey tape has become the base of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone campaign, and has grown internationaly to be a symbol of acceptance and change.
This conversation will be moderated by Andrea Carey. Andrea is a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP), holds a Masters of Education in Leadership Studies and is a champion of inclusion. Andrea is the founder and Chief INclusion Officer of INclusion INcorporated. She works to support organizations to create cultures of belong
This conversation will be moderated by Andrea Carey. Andrea is a Canadian Certified Inclusion Professional (CCIP), holds a Masters of Education in Leadership Studies and is a champion of inclusion. Andrea is the founder and Chief INclusion Officer of INclusion INcorporated. She works to support organizations to create cultures of belonging and inclusion for everyone to thrive. Andrea is a volunteer with the Canadian Paralympic Committee as a Board Director and Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee; and sits on the Board of KidSport Victoria.
I see you, I hear you, and you matter. Senator Chantal Petitclerc and Angie Abdou discussed how important it is to continually learn, grow, and develop yourself and your capacities to support those around you if we want to build a better world together. Through their public facing roles, they are each working to create spaces and places that support others to be the best they can be. In this episode, both guests talked about the people who made a difference for them - teachers and coaches, who brought them in, who showed them how to be a positive and supportive leader, and what a tremendous impact that had on their journeys of belonging, and the role model that provided for how they now lead forward.
The How and Why Of What We Do
Emily Glossop and Todd Nicholson have lived more lives than most, they have faced tragedies and triumphs, including the loss of their house to a tornado. Through it all, their desire to be involved and support the people in their communities has been a constant, their dedication to giving back and addressing inequities and fairness has been their opportunity to build a better world. While belonging for some can mean a specific place, Emily and Todd have found belonging in the friends and people who have lent a hand and shown their support and created a team that extends outside of four walls
"A Paralympian is who I am, and I'm very proud of that."
Sport has given Paralympians Josh Vander Vies and Stephanie Dixon a space of belonging their whole lives. Their largely positive experiences in sport have given them a platform for leadership in the parasport world and given them unique perspectives on systematic exclusion and how to communicate their inclusion needs. Despite the postponement of the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Stephanie and Josh have embraced their positions as Chef de Mission and Assistant Chef de Mission respectively, and continue to work to empower Canadian parasport athletes at every level.
In today’s world, values-based leadership is the driver that creates a sense of belonging. Both Gail Hamamoto and Ainka Jess use their experiences with not belonging to create safe, inclusive and authentic spaces not only for their colleagues but for the people their organizations reach. Having each had extensive careers in sport, their personal and professional growth has given them unique perspectives on authenticity and belonging, and look forward to the opportunities and journeys that they can foster for the next generation of leaders in sport.
Both Richard "Bear" Peter and Risa Isard have had unique journeys in discovering their own belonging. From racism to sexism to standing up to institutionalized ideals, Richard and Risa have each had to work to find self-acceptance and belonging, both in their professional and personal lives. As both Richard and Risa acknowledged, belonging is a constant evolution and opportunity for re-evaluation and it's important to use their privilege of finding acceptance to create safer spaces for others.
While spider-man said "With great power comes great responsibility," it's evident that with great power comes more opportunity
L’épisode était chargé de passion et notre bavardage était centré sur l’opportunité présentée par le sport comme égalisateur. Notre animatrice Fannie Smith fut jointe par Samantha Rogers de Relate Social Capital et Maxime Gagnon de Défi Sportif Altergo.
Le travail d’inclusion au Canada ne doit pas oublier la diversité de langue et des différentes cultures, surtout lorsqu’il en est de nos langues officielles. Sam nous a parlé de son expérience comme Québécoise anglophone et sa fierté d’être Montréalaise. Elle nous expliqua comment sa perception a changé lorsqu’elle a vécu à Toronto et Vancouver et se trouva dans des situations où elle devait défendre le besoin d’inclure la langue française et qu’une approche culturelle anglo-canadienne dans l’Ouest ne s’appliquera pas au Québec. De même, Maxime explique son intimidation quand il était invité à Calgary pour des conférences où il devait s’intégrer dans un milieu anglophone.
Après plus de 25 ans, la passion de Maxime à combattre les barrières pour l’inclusion des personnes handicapées dans le sport brûle tout aussi fort. Il est évident que l’événement Défi Sportif a un impact durable sur non seulement la communauté du Québec mais au niveau international. Défi Sportif sert non seulement à fournir une occasion pour les personnes à tous les niveaux d’habileté de se joindre ensemble mais aussi à éduquer et démontrer ce qui est possible à toute la population.
Norm O'Reilly and Samantha Rogers created this beautiful dynamic as they shared about the passion and commitment they bring to their work in sponsorship and philanthropy as a lever for social change - through sport - sport to do good. Samantha talked about the opportunity to reach back and support others as you move forward, she also spoke about being happy with where you are at and celebrating your successes, and the power of being honest with who you are. Norm shared about the awareness of self and how it is not enough to accept each other, we must be intentional about how we support each other. He also talked about how COVID has been an accelerant for topics that were already shifting in our world - both with social justice issues but also with how businesses are creating authentic connections through their sponsorship relationships. We received many gifts from these two incredible leaders today, and we are so grateful for their vulnerability and openness in sharing their journeys.
Marni Abbott Peter and Stuart McReynolds shared their vulnerable paths through belonging. Both shared how sport had been such a rich space of belonging for them, a catalyst of personal change as they navigated their journeys. They each talked about embracing their own challenges and finding ways to own the challenge and to be open and vulnerable about that part of their lived experiences. We talked about the importance of social inclusion, and the power of taking care of yourself along the way to ensure that you can show up for your team, your family and your work in the ways that are needed.
Scout Bassett and Wanda Deschamps were a powerful pair in sharing their journeys through mental health, finding themselves, and the struggle to move from fitting in, to belonging. They talked about how neither of them showed up in ways that allowed them to be easily accepted by their peers or by the systems that our world is built on - and they needed to learn to love and accept themselves - and to realize that the systems are broken. This has fueled their individual passions for change, and to be advocates and activists for gender equity and disability inclusion. Scout made the poignant comments that "it's okay to not be okay - and to ask for help, and to recognize that trauma catches up with you". You can either let it define it or you can own it and embrace the learnings that comes from it.
We had a rich conversation with Lucha Villar and Marg McGregor where they shared their paths through life and career – starting from early experiences rooted in advocacy through their parents. As we explore this juncture of health, financial and social crisis, it is an opportunity to do different – but it is a unique point in time, and we have to use the platform and intentionality to give visibility and opportunity to share each voice and amplify the ones who need it the most. We spoke about microaggressions and how commonplace those are – and Marg referenced the opportunity to ensure we also celebrate all the good, and the small things to support people – we could call these micro-affirmations. Lucha spoke about the power of the Lima 2019 games and how that had created social change in Peru and elevated the appreciation and understanding of people with disabilities in their country. We talked about how much language matters, as well as patience, and listening to understand. We have a long way to go, and progress sometimes feels evasive but we have to keep driving forward in our journeys – of our selves and of our shared belonging.
Ikem Opara and Charlene Krepiakevich created a beautiful conversation that centered around values and the importance of being intentional in creating spaces (physical and social) that allow people to bring their whole selves. They talked about being relentless in the creation of safety in experiences, building trust, consistency of the spaces, and of the value of the qualitative experience - which our society does not place enough emphasis on. We spoke about the need to resource the community adequately with time and financial resources and over the long term to truly build the value that this work deserves and needs to be successful. They shared about the importance of building relationships, that are built on learning about each other, and based on integrity, respect, and dignity, so that those relationships are foundational to how we build and grow forward - and allow us to weather the more challenging situations and times. If we can create the relationships, and the safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments, then that allows the opportunity to have the big tent opportunities where each person has what they need to be involved and engaged.
This conversation with Allison Sandmeyer Graves and Marc Iturriaga wove a beautiful vision for systems and structures that need to be rebuilt around people, putting participants and individual needs first and supporting people for who they are. Allison sharing about her passion for social justice from an early age but how that made it hard for her to find her place to belong, but that sport was a place where she belonged. This experience fueled her passion around how sport can be a vehicle to achieve equity in society. Marc talked about how he still doesn't feel like he belongs in sport, but he wants to be in it and is working on finding his place. He came from a family with two immigrant parents and his journey in "playing" sport has been recreational but is often wrought with that experience of not belonging, which has fueled his desire to create programs and opportunities where people feel invited, welcomed and included everytime. We talked about how experiences where people can truly belong need to be co-created with the participants and how we need to change what we measure to focus on the quality of the participation versus the progression or "achievement".
Our conversation with Michael Linklater and Erica Gavel explored how our backgrounds and stories influence our paths forward. How our voices and opinions matter, and how learning about each other and taking the time to ask and explore each other's needs is such a powerful tool forward. We talked about role models and what a powerful impact that can have in appreciating what opportunities are available to you, and how mentorship can support your learning and journeys. We touched on the colonial and classist systems that drive our sports, but also how basketball gave them a place where they each belonged. Our journey in this conversation pinpointed the importance of belonging to yourself first, and then being able to take that into other facets of your life and how you share your world with others.
Archie Allison and Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt created a powerful conversation today as they shared their stories through not "fitting in" to find their places of belonging. They talked about listening to learn and understand people, and the creation of safe spaces; of being in a society that defaults to "no"; and about embracing the possibilities and just trying. Their stories were of resilience and perseverance, and of being brave and patient. Their journeys were fraught with struggles but also with optimism and the power of positivity in creating beauty all around you.
Sport has been a source of connection and belonging in the journeys of Michelle Stilwell and Joey Johnson. They met through Wheelchair Basketball and found a place where they belonged in that sport. Through that anchor, they have been teammates and friends ever since. Our conversation journeyed through being guided by values, showing up authentically, making the choice to be inclusive and how that paves the way for belonging.
Our conversation focused around the journeys of Beth Hudson and Janice Forsyth through sport and through culture. We talked about the racism they each faced, the times that they didn't belong, and how each of them found the joy and their place in sport which led to careers in Indigenous sport which explore the histories, the cultures, the beauty that sport is for Indigenous peoples. Both Beth and Janice share the belief that sport is a tool and a way to reclaim cultures, as well as tool to understand Indigenous cultures.
The conversation this week dove into the intentional planning for welcoming, safe and inclusive spaces - that are designed by and for diverse people. Darby Lee Young and Kristen Worley focused on their lived experiences and how those influenced their personal and career paths to design accessible and human-centered spaces and places.
Our conversation this week brought together Marco Pasqua and Dina Bell Laroche who wove together a beautiful story about how their personal challenges created an opportunity for them to seek out what they really wanted and what allowed them to belong. Powerful storytellers, we challenged the concept of "othering" and explored what is needed to connect with each other and seek to listen intently and support what people need to belong.
Our conversation focused on how our values can support us to create people-centered approaches in supporting cultures of connection and belonging. Karen O'Neill and Tim Adams shared their experiences in creating space and places for the people that they care about - from personal to professional realms - and from grassroots to high-performance sport systems.
This is conversation featured Devin Heroux and Diane Lloyd. Our guests were so vulnerable in how they showed up and shared their stories. We spoke about the uncomfortable situations our world is currently wrestling with and how these have impacted each of their journeys and thinking. We also talked about how we move from fitting in, and evolve to belonging, and what their journeys have been in appreciating and belonging to themselves first, and then creating safe places for those they are engaging with to show up and feel that sense of belonging.
Featuring Dr. David Legg and Karen Craggs-Milne, this conversation talks about the intersections of who we are, our lived experiences and the journeys through finding our spaces and places to below and also creating those for others.
Featuring Zoe Robinson & Matt Fisher, this dialogue talks about journeys in sport -with experiences in inclusion and exclusion, Zoe's transition to living as a woman, and how belonging has shown up for each of them along their journeys.