Intercultural Partnership Network

The Intercultural Partnership Network is building upon the work the community, Cowichan Organizing Against Racism and Hate (OARH) Initiative. In 2015, OARH Network partners committed to membership to create:

1. Opportunities for staff/clients to engage in community forums, Conversation Cafés, and/or restorative circles that support dialogue about diversity and inclusion, issues of discrimination and/or acts of intolerance in our community such as racism, as well as to find solutions and create actions that increase healthy relationships across diversity, increase inclusion and equitable access for all identities in the diverse Cowichan region;

2. Access for staff/clients to participate in experiential workshops and training designed to increase awareness and sensitivity about racism and other forms of discrimination in our community, and to build skills that increase cultural sensitivity and empower people to stand up instead of standing by when witnessing racist and other discriminatory behaviors. (*in-service workshops will be available dependent on CIS resources and programming at time of request); and

3. A point of contact for concerns related to racism and discrimination via the CIS OARH partnership contact.

The outcomes of the Intercultural Partnership Network, building on and expanding the current work of the OARH, are:

  • To foster local engagement of service providers and decision makers around inclusion, diversity and anti-racism;
  • To support community‐based knowledge sharing, resource sharing and local strategic planning (i.e. community action plan);
  • To collectively identify, challenge and prevent the biases that contribute to racism in our community; and
  • To improve coordination of services that facilitates the elimination of racism and the successful integration of Diverse Groups of people.

The Network will bring communities together to address racism through:

  • Themed network events;
  • Resource/information sharing opportunities;
  • The Intercultural Partnership Summit – a one day conference, including round table discussions drawing on each organization’s expertise and including a diverse group of participants;
  • Joint community-wide planning strategies and actions for preventing and responding to racism
  • Intercultural Fluency*/Anti-Racism training delivered by CIS to organizations within the Network;
  • Respecting all privacy regulations(PIPA, FOIPA and others as applicable), agencies may collaborate around specific instances of racism a coordinated effort.

*Intercultural Fluency includes competencies for positively interacting with Diverse Groups of people including cultivating self-awareness to extricate personal biases/discriminatory ideas or behaviours. The training will combine this with anti-racism “first aid” and other teachings to maximize learning outcomes.

On June 2, 2016, the Intercultural Partnership Network will host the first Cowichan Intercultural Partnership Summit…Leading Integration, Immigration and Inclusion.

More details about the Cowichan Intercultural Partnership Summit and how to register here.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of BC through the Ministry of International Trade.