Diversity & Inclusion

SPARC BC is committed to achieving access and the full participation and engagement of all in our diverse society by fostering communication, leadership, partnership, and collaboration. SPARC BC promotes social inclusion through recognizing both the rights and the opportunity to participate in and enjoy all aspects of human life.


“I’m changing my mind. As opposed to thinking about how do we overcome diversity, I’m thinking more about how do we celebrate diversity. And yes, we want to find common ground as people, but how can we celebrate our differences?”
-- Workshop Participant

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“We have a lot of volunteers that work from their heart. They are people who are trained to be good listeners. They come with a lot of compassion and empathy so I think they try to create a safe space for the seniors.”
-- Jemma Templeton, BC Seniors Advocacy Network

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“There is a lot of professional identity tied into being able to make decisions. That is seen as what you are supposed to do as a professional. Actually there is as much skill involved in facilitating decision making by stakeholders. That takes as much skill, professional ability and dedication.”
-- Randy Gatley, Teen Services, Vancouver Public Library

Summary: Meaningful participation in decision making is an important element of inclusion. The Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Teen Advisory Council provides valuable input into decisions about purchases, displays, and communications. Randy Gatley, Assistant Director, Teen Services, and Teen Advisory Council members describe how teens are involved in decision-making processes.

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“It’s really easy for those of us working in organizations to connect with other people who are also working for organizations and I think we need to get beyond that and talk to the people themselves.”
-- Beth Davies, Carnegie Branch, Vancouver Public Library

Summary: Recognition of the unique circumstances of community members is another important aspect of inclusion. Beth Davies, Head Librarian of the Carnegie Branch, Vancouver Public Library, describes strategies uses by the Carnegie Branch to address barriers experienced by people living in the Downtown Eastside neighbourhood of Vancouver.

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“When you collaborate and start to share resources you can benefit from the wealth of knowledge that is out there and not re-create the wheel.”
-- Bonnie O’Sullivan, 411 Seniors Centre

Summary: Connecting across the community is another way to ensure inclusion. Bonnie O’Sullivan, Manager of Programs and Fund Development at 411 Seniors Centre, discuss strategies used to build relationships with organizations across the community. Shams Jilani, a program participant discusses the importance of storytelling in building bridges.

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The Maple Bamboo Initiative is a training and mentorship project that helps newcomers and immigrants get involved in civic activities and community life.

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Community Inclusion Initiative
This initiative helped to show the little actions that can help to make our communities more accessible and inclusive for everyone, and can help to start important conversations about what it means to be a truly accessible and inclusive community.

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