In planning with partners for the 2018 Summit on “A City for All”, three cross-cutting frameworks emerged: resilience, reconciliation, and intersectionality. The following are our initial working definitions of these concepts:
Resilience is the ability to survive, adapt, and thrive in the face of challenges and changes. Organizations across Vancouver are constantly at the forefront of complex local and global challenges. They have transformed their missions, service models, and spaces to meet changing needs of clients, staff and volunteers, day-to-day, and during crisis.
Through this session we hoped to capture stories, examples, and learning from local organizations that have changed in the face of challenges and uncertainty in hopes that other organizations can learn from, and feel empowered to survive, adapt, and thrive in the future.
Intersectionality is the idea that the overlap of various social identities, such as race, gender, sexuality and social class, contributes to the cumulative systemic oppression and discrimination, or the cumulative advantage, experienced by a person or group. We wished to learn more about how these cumulative impacts can be addressed to improve our social capacity.
Reconcilation occurs only after a recognition of the truth of the lived experiences of indigenous peoples historically and today. Colonialism has broken trust between indigenous peoples and settlers, and their descendants. Our objective is to engage in a healing process that fosters sustained relationships of mutual respect and understanding with local First Nations and the urban Indigenous community.
We wished to learn from the ongoing process undertaken by the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and from other participatory processes that are building positive relationships of mutual respect.
Under the umbrella of “A City for All”, we recognize that there is also a need for reconciliation with other groups such as the Japanese community, the black community, Chinese communities, and LGBTQ2S residents who have suffered systemic discrimination. The City of Vancouver and others have initiated similar actions to change the course of these relationships, and to design policies, programs, places, and spaces that are inclusive.