You’re Invited to Diversité d’Abord!

After months of research and preparation, we are ready to announce Diversité d’Abord, our day of reflection and training on racism and colonialism in Quebec’s community sector. Spots are limited, so register fast!

Since January, the Centre for Community Organisations (COCo) has been engaged in an in-depth research project exploring race and racism in Quebec’s community sector. At our Diversité D’Abord forum, COCo will share the preliminary results of that research, and offer interactive trainings for community workers and volunteers on the key issues that arose over the course of our investigation. The day will end with a panel celebrating the leadership of Black women in the sector.


Having Hard Conversations: The Courage to Face Ourselves 
13h00-14h30 (EN), 14h45-16h15 (FR)

Conversations about racism and colonialism are often seen as being “difficult” or “challenging” as they can evoke strong emotions and reactions from both white and racialised people. There is the sense that Canadians and Quebecers would rather “sweep it under the rug”. The Diversité d’Abord research showed that not only are these adages true, they are some of the biggest barriers to achieving racial justice in the community sector.

This workshop will tackle the personal and emotional responses we have to conversations about race– responses that stop us from hearing the experiences or realities of people of colour working in the sector and holding ourselves accountable and addressing the systemic impacts of race. Combining best practices in anti-racist education with the results of our research, and research about trauma and psychology, this workshop will better equip non-profit leaders to move past guilt, shame, and anger, and towards being able to create real change.

Facilitated by Ainsley Jenicek & Pascale Brunet

Sharing Stories: Racial (In)Justice
13h00-14h30 (FR)

Often when incidents of racial injustice are expressed, people of colour are expected to justify their experiences with facts and statistics. As important as this data can be, we can lose the nuance and power of individual experiences. Stories are also an incredibly important part of how we learn and situate our lived experiences within a greater community context.  Narrative weaving offers us new ways of understanding ourselves,the impact of our words and actions, and how racism moves through our bodies, our work, and our movements. Through this process, we can imagine alternative modes of resistance, survival and healing.

In this workshop, our facilitators will share their own stories of success and failures in addressing racism within organizations, share stories that have arisen in the course of our research, and create space for other stories to arise that can help us understand, listen, and heal.

Facilitated by Kama La Mackerel & Délice Mugabo

From Hiring to Firing: Women of Colour In Organizations
14h45-16h15 (EN)

Our Diversité d’Abord research reveals a pattern where women of colour are disproportionately subjected to discrimination, violence, and structural barriers at every step of their experience in nonprofit and community organizations. These findings mirror our shared community knowledge and our lived experiences in the sector. This workshop will centre the voices of Women of Colour in the community sector to candidly detail the oppressive dynamics that often force women of colour out of the community sector. Further, we will explore the ways in which women of colour cope with and navigate these situations, and how other community workers can identify these dynamics and work in solidarity with us to effect positive change in the sector.

Facilitated by Robyn Maynard & Emily Yee Clare

4 à 6

We invite you to join us for snacks, drinks, and good conversations!

Closing Panel

Black Women Taking the Lead: the Nonprofit Sector in Quebec
18h00-20h00 (EN)

This panel will celebrate the leadership and success of Black women in Quebec’s community sector. Featuring generations of Black activists and nonprofit leaders in conversation with each other, working in small activist organizations and in powerhouse non-profits, this panel will feature Black women in conversation with each other about their stories, their learnings, and their leadership.

The building is wheelchair accessible. More accessibility information is to come!