The comments and concerns that have been raised are being taken seriously, and have given further urgency to The Stop’s AR/AO (anti-racism/anti-oppression) work.

The events of the last six months—not the least of which has been the pandemic—have also highlighted a need to re-examine The Stop’s scope of programming to adequately resource our operations specifically in ways that support and centre Black, Indigenous, and racialized staff.

We have a starting point, in a multi-year equity plan that was developed in 2019. We have revisited this plan, and have identified the actions that our staff and board can work together on immediately:


Addressing Harm and Supporting Our Staff:

We have reached out to recent former staff to provide them with a formal opportunity to share their experiences at The Stop. At the same time, we are exploring the opportunity to bring in an external mediator to facilitate open and honest dialogue among current staff to foster a healthier, safer and more inclusive workplace.

Timing: Now, and ongoing
Responsibility: Senior Management, Board, Staff, other
Outcomes: Opportunity for current and former staff to share their experiences with The Stop, and for current staff to work to restore relationships, trust, and confidence with each other and with leadership.


Hiring of the Operations/Finance Director:

In August of 2019, an external AR/AO consultant reviewed The Stop’s policies to identify gaps and opportunities. Their report highlighted the importance of having a leadership position that could lead the suggested changes and support the cultivation of a culture that values, fosters, and sustains a deep, intersectional diversity. This leader would also strengthen mechanisms for the recruitment, retention, and supports to centre the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and racialized staff. The posting was shared in late May and the deadline has been extended to July.

Timing: July 2020
Responsibility: The Stop’s Hiring Committee – made up of staff and management
Outcomes: Operations/Finance Director in place by end of July


Re-framing and Resourcing The Stop’s AR/AO Committee:

We will revisit the terms of reference for the staff-led AR/AO committee to ensure that its function is to centre the work of AR/AO within the culture of the organization. The committee must also be properly resourced and include members of Senior Management and/or our Board of Directors so that recommendations can be effectively implemented. We will also add a communications function so that work can be shared both internally and externally.

Timing: August 2020
Responsibility: AR/AO Committee, Staff, Senior Management, Board Member(s)
Outcomes: The AR/AO committee’s terms of reference are clearly established. The staff-led AR/AO Committee is a relevant and key driver of building AR/AO culture within The Stop.


Review of the 2019 Demographics and Equity Survey:

In September 2019, we conducted an all-staff and Board demographic and equity survey, designed to verify, monitor, measure and address gaps, trends, progress, and perceptions of (in)equity at The Stop. With this data we will improve the quality of decision-making, monitor potential discrimination, identify and remove systemic barriers, lessen or prevent disadvantages, and promote substantive equity for our staff.

Timing: September 2020
Responsibility: Senior Management, AR/AO Committee, Board
Outcomes: Use the results as a benchmark for where we want to be in October 2020


Board composition and AR/AO training:

The Stop’s Board of Directors, acknowledging the importance of this work, was set to continue its series of trainings in March just as the pandemic broke. This training has been rescheduled, and will work to develop new criteria and more transparent recruitment processes in order to bring greater diversity to the Board in a way that more closely reflects our community and supports the goals of our strategic plan.

Timing: To restart September 2020
Responsibility: Senior Management, Board
Outcomes: Board to complete the 4-module training by January 2021


Opportunities to Address and Build Partnerships in the Sector:

In addition to further highlighting the cracks within our society, the pandemic has also shone a light on the vulnerabilities of the charitable sectorespecially in the social services. Going forward, having conversations around sources of funding and how they can be directed more thoughtfully to Black, Indigenous and racialized communities will be of critical importance. We see an opportunity to work with our partners and funders, to address how the role of philanthropy and the charitable sector at-large contribute to systems of racism and oppression. We would also like to explore how we work with other charitable organizations who are leading in their own AR/AO work in order to share resources, experiences and look to other examples outside of our own.

Timing: September/October 2020
Responsibility: Senior Management, Fundraising, AR/AO Committee
Outcomes: To ensure that issues surrounding AR/AO in the non-profit space are continually addressed and shared at a sector-level in order to support systems wide change.