As the school year winds down, we here at ONE TO ONE are taking a moment to look back at the 2019-2020 program and to consider how we can strengthen our work going forward.
Like so many organizations in the not-for-profit sector, we are motivated by a desire to serve, learn from and reflect our communities. ONE TO ONE touches the lives of almost 3000 children who reflect the rich diversity of British Columbia. Because we play a significant role in the lives of our students, community members, and volunteers we need to be clear: Representation matters. Relationships matter. Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter.
We have begun taking steps to foster more diversity and inclusion in our work: from being intentional about the leadership of our organization (for example, our board is now 50% women of color), to bringing more conversations about inclusion into our tutor development, and introducing more diverse stories into our program materials.
This point is especially important. Stories matter. When a child sees themselves in a book, something powerful happens. And yet only 26% of children’s books published in 2017 included multi-cultural content. Children’s publishing needs to do better. And, as an organization that connects thousands of kids to stories every year, we are working harder to add diverse books into our program materials and to highlight this need to our funders.
Going forward, we have started identifying areas where more work is needed. One action we are taking this summer is making sure photos and stories we use (whether that’s in our training materials, website or program literature) are representative of our community.
Guided by humility and curiosity, we are committed to moving forward on this journey of learning and unlearning together. That’s why we stand with the BIPOC community. We hope you will stand with us too. If you’re looking for ways to learn more, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.