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Building equity requires allies

The work of building a union that is truly inclusive is not the exclusive task of those who have historically not experienced the invitation or conditions to participate fully. This work rightly belongs to all union members, as we all contribute to determining the culture and structures of our organization.

In working to shift the conditions that privilege some individuals over others, it is crucial that the voices of those who are experiencing inequality or marginalization be given space and power to be heard. Those who do not experience the circumstances of equity-seeking groups cannot suppose to speak for them. But, this does not mean they need stay silent on the issues. Indeed, it is crucial that those who speak and act from positions of more privilege use this power to help affect the change needed to create a more level playing field. Often the motivation for more privileged individuals to act as an ‘ally’ in this way comes from a recognition of the fairness and justice inherent in seeking such changes. Often too, it is motivated by recognition that addressing inequalities creates the conditions not only for healthier individuals across organizations and society, but also for greater richness of relationship across diversity. And ultimately a stronger, more inclusive Union.

Actions for Allies – What can I do to support?

Attend BCNU’s annual Human Rights and Equity conference (December). Build relationship with your region’s caucus reps and ask how you can support. Participate with BCNU in outreach to community events (ask your Chair for info). Educate yourself and speak out on the issues!

Actions for Aboriginal Allies

Aboriginal leaders and other aboriginal allies can support the “Future Directions for Aboriginal Nurses in BC” by asking the Interim First Nations Health Authority and all BC Health Authorities to accept this working plan.

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