Beyond Lip Service to Inclusion: How do we meaningfully make room for those we aim to support?
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
Inclusion is frequently invoked in the context of spaces that are anything but. Is an expressed commitment to inclusion a good first attempt towards mutuality in our spaces? This public conversation considers whether it is enough to claim to be inclusive and what further steps are needed in order to substantially commit to those we claim to support. What is needed for expressed commitments to inclusivity to prevent opportunist positioning?
Stephanie Guico is a cooperative management consultant and facilitator specialized in multi-stakeholder team building. Among other highlights, she has worked with the NYC Worker Cooperative Initiative build out the NYC worker cooperative business ecosystem. She has also undertaken business planning for a number of fledgling cooperative platforms in the home services, delivery and arts industry. She is currently collaborating with SMArt to scale the cooperative to the province of Quebec. She sits on the board of Cooperatives and Mutuals Canada.
Zaina Ismail-Allouche's activism began in 1984 as a volunteer with civil organizations. Her profession started with UNICEF in Lebanon, and then as a communications officer in Yemen. She also managed an organization offering alternative care services with 140 staff and more than 3000 beneficiaries. She is an advocate for the right to origin and contributed performances based on testimonies of survivors of forced separation. Holder of a BA in Social Work , Master’s in Public Health, she is currently pursuing an INDI PHD researching forced separation in the view of the legacy of the Indigenous peoples in Canada.
1900 Le Ber street