Volunteer Victoria is committed to inclusion for all individuals who engage with us and who live, learn and volunteer as uninvited guests on the traditional territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱sáneć Nations.
We recognize that our privilege is built on foundations forged by First Nations peoples who faced centuries of colonization and harm to their culture, safety, and economy. We are committed to decolonizing volunteerism in our own organization and in others who partner with us.
We value and embrace diversity. Every team and every project is made stronger with the inclusion of people with different lived experiences, values, and beliefs.
Our definitions for this work are as follows (thanks BCCampus for the language):
Equity is the absence of barriers that exclude people with non-dominant lived experiences, perspectives, and identities. We recognize that everyone is not starting from the same place and that there is a need for intentional interventions to allow people who experience exclusion to be present and contribute.
Diversity is the presence of people in a group with a variety of lived experiences, perspectives, and identities that may include (but are not limited to) race, ethnicity, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political beliefs, religion, marital status, family status, ability, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, and class and/or socioeconomic status. We recognize that these categories are not fixed or independent of each other. They are fluid and can intersect in all sorts of ways. We respect an individual’s right to self-identification and affirm that no one way of being is intrinsically superior to another.
Inclusion is the practice of creating and sustaining environments and communities in which everyone feels welcomed, valued, respected, and empowered to participate fully and authentically in ways that work for them.
We want to create brave and welcoming spaces for individual volunteers with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including but not limited to:
• First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, and all other Indigenous peoples;
• members of groups that commonly experience discrimination due to race, ancestry, colour, religion and/or spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
• persons with visible and/or invisible (physical and/or mental) disabilities;
• persons who identify as women; and
• persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.
We recognize that many of these identities intersect and that therefore, equity, diversity and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings, and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all in our community.
Everybody has the right to volunteer, but not every volunteer position is right for everybody. We believe that everyone can find the right volunteer position – where they are at, without judgement, and with barriers to inclusion and equity.