At the BC Academic Health Science Network, we believe in embracing diversity as a strength and core value, creating spaces that are inclusive of all peoples, and holding equity as an organizing principle for our work at all levels of our organization. We recognize that our health care and academic systems contain systemic inequities, and we aim to help remove these inequities while understanding and rectifying the ways in which we may perpetuate conscious and/or unconscious bias.
As an organization whose key role is to connect partners and stakeholders to meet individual, population, and health system needs, we recognize and appreciate that there is a need to listen deeply to all of our BC citizens, especially to those whose health and well-being have been systemically disadvantaged. We wholeheartedly hope and believe that reflective inquiry, listening well in our partnerships, and to each other, and committing to actions that cultivate trust, respect, and ongoing collaboration will be critical to charting a new course and culture in this work.
To do this, we will, as a start:
- Work in partnership with First Nations Health Authority and sign a formal commitment to cultural safety and humility;
- Offer Indigenous cultural safety training and learning opportunities to all staff members, board members, and volunteers;
- Sign and adopt the Dimensions Charter for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to join a national community that has made a commitment to embedding the principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in our policies, practices and action plans;
- Develop an Action Plan on equity, diversity and inclusion, with appropriate and agreed metrics, that is shared publicly;
- Endeavour to ensure, that staff, governance and advisory groups (which include patient partners) are inclusive of meaningful diversity in, for example, age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental capabilities, ethnicity, and perspectives;
- Identify areas within our organization where gaps or conflicts exist (such as under- or misrepresentation in groups, projects, and events), and where there are opportunities to address our limitations, we will and take every opportunity to address and improve on them.
We hope that you will join us in this work, and offer your thoughts as we build a more just and equitable health research environment together.
This statement was reviewed and approved by the BC AHSN Board of Directors in November 2020 after a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process.