A Movement for Diversity
Safe Harbour: Respect for All is about a vision in action: creating opportunities for businesses, institutions, agencies, and municipalities to be proactive in creating welcoming and inclusive workplaces and communities.
Building on roots in 24 communities in British Columbia, Safe Harbour: Respect for All continues to expand and grow recognition, coordinated by the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC, an affiliation of 75 multicultural agencies providing immigrant settlement and multicultural services.
Community Organizers, not-for-profit agencies who serve newcomers, multicultural, Aboriginal and underserved populations, deliver the two-hour Safe Harbour: Respect for All workshop to one or more representatives from businesses, financial institutions, agencies, libraries, government offices, policing stations and other local organizations, helping them to create an inclusive workplace environment where employees, customers and participants of diverse backgrounds know that they will be respected and safe from discrimination.
The workshop not only explores stereotyping, privilege, marginalization, but also offers ways to improve customer service by providing equitable treatment to all. Safe Harbour locations sign on to three key commitments:
- Equitable Treatment for All: Welcoming all participants and/or customers in a respectful manner. If a concern is expressed regarding a lack of respectful treatment, employers and staff take steps to address it.
- An Immediate Safe Place: For someone experiencing discrimination in or near the worksite which may include a place to sit, a glass of water, a phone to use, and access to a list of resources.
- Prepared Employees and Worksites: Preparing all staff to implement these commitments.
A welcoming community requires a commitment from all sectors of society. There are now over 700 Safe Harbour-certified locations signed on across BC, including RONA, the Royal Bank, ScotiaBank, TD Canada Trust, Canada Safeway Ltd., Medicine Shoppe Canada, London Drugs, YMCA-YWCA, Canadian Red Cross, the City of Burnaby, Roads University, the South Vancouver Business Improvement Association and members of the RCMP and Chambers of Commerce. They are leaders in the stand against discrimination, as well as in the commitment to provide a respectful workplace environment where diversity is valued and celebrated.
Upon completion of the workshop, participants receive a Safe Harbour window decal, a certificate, and promotional materials to display as visible markers of their respect for all. Beyond the workshop, Community Organizers continue supporting Safe Harbour locations to further their awareness of diversity through resources related to cultural competency, the needs of newcomers and diverse groups, and ways to communicate their commitments to the local community. Immigrants, visible minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, youth, people with disabilities, and other diverse groups can rely on Safe Harbour as a symbol of trust in their neighbourhoods.
For more details, please contact Andrew O’Brien, Settlement Services, at 250.763.8008 ext 39 or email ac.rcknull@werdna.
For the National Safe Harbour Program Coordinator at AMSSA contact 1.888.355.5560 or email gro.assmanull@ruobrahefaslanoitan.