Diversity Matters. Representation Matters.
April 6, 2021
During the past year, violent racist events have reminded us to take stock of diversity, equity & inclusion at HUB Cycling.
Like many organizations, HUB believes that diversity matters.
Inclusion is an underpinning value of what HUB Cycling stands for, as reflected in our Core Values.
Hateful incidents across Metro Vancouver during the past couple of weeks have once again reminded us about our society’s systemic foundation in colonialism, white supremacy, and racism. For far too long, many segments of our community have been systematically discriminated against and oppressed.
To those impacted, as a community or personally, we see you, we support you, and we stand with you.
To effect change, we continue to critically analyze how our actions can help stop the ongoing marginalization of Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities and commit to reconciliation and change. HUB Cycling continues to make proactive efforts to explore ways to create a more accountable and inclusive environment for our staff, volunteers and program participants. We as an organization must reflect the communities we serve, and the organizations we partner with, to deliver our programs.
Though we are committed to standing up and speaking out against racism and injustice in all forms, good intentions alone are not enough. Intentions are not results.
Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned so far and how we are continuing our efforts to decolonize and take action against racism and other injustices.
The progress we’ve made so far
Our efforts to address racism and decolonization begin with acknowledging that, through our various projects, we operate on the traditional unceded territories of many First Nations in British Columbia. We encourage all British Columbians to learn more about the distinct languages, economic backgrounds, and First Nations communities in regions across British Columbia on this interactive map.
In addition to this acknowledgement, we are using our events and platforms to make room for elders from First Nations communities to bless us and guide our events.
We are learning to communicate in languages our communities speak
HUB Cycling also recognizes that 26 percent of people in B.C. speak a language other than Indigenous languages or English or French as their first language. We respect and value all the different languages spoken by people across the province. These diverse languages and cultures make us a more prosperous and vibrant community.
We are expanding our advertising and communications to include media partners that serve other language groups. When hiring new employees, we seek out people who can bring this rich diversity of language and culture to our organization.
We’ve evolved our hiring process
We have changed our hiring process to close the feedback loop in which people who have the same background as current team members get hired and then hire people who have the same background as themselves who then do the exact same thing. While shortlisting candidates, we remove personal information to help us eliminate bias when making hiring decisions. Candidates with lived experiences are ranked higher in our matrix than people with Institutional education. People from racialized communities receive additional points in an effort to bring them on par with people with privileges. We do not think that our hiring process is perfect. We will continue to learn and make corrections.
We seek to empower racialized communities by asking for targeted funding for projects
We have been advocating to the provincial and municipal governments to empower racialized communities by funding targeted active transportation projects () in these communities. Transportation is the linchpin that allows us to function in our daily lives. The lack of active transportation options in racialized communities has become increasingly apparent. Lack of access to safe active transportation infrastructure has contributed to rising obesity and diabetes rates and contributes to a mounting toll of injuries and fatalities to people walking and cycling without other options than travelling on unsafe streets. Research shows that people with low-income walk and bicycle more than people in the upper-income brackets, but there are limited active transportation options for low-income individuals and families. Lack of transportation options often leads to restricted employment possibilities and low school attendance.
We strongly advocate for underserved and underrepresented communities
Providing safe and convenient walking and cycling infrastructure in racialized and marginalized communities can help overcome these challenges. Governments must ensure that funding for active transportation projects is targeted for these communities and not encourage the philosophy that communities that already bike the most deserve priority for additional resources. This philosophy perpetuates a vicious cycle where cycling proliferates in some neighbourhoods while underserved communities continue to stay underfunded.
We are taking steps to decolonize our activities and systems
Our team is taking training to better understand how to decolonize our activities and systems within the organization, and we are partnering with other community groups such as the Red Fox Healthy Living Society to reach traditionally underserved populations so that the benefits of biking are shared more equitably and widely.
We are learning to become better allies. Allies that seek out people from entirely different racial and cultural backgrounds and become their vocal fans. Help them develop as leaders, challenge and encourage them, and tout their abilities and achievements. We acknowledge that we are near the start of our journey to decolonize and take action against racism and other injustices and we want to be open and transparent with the actions we are taking now.
Photo: Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya
“I Still Believe in Our City” was created by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, one of two 2020-21 artists-in-residence with the NYC Commission on Human Rights. The daughter of Thai and Indonesian immigrants, Phingbodhipakkiya’s practice centers around making the invisible, visible. Her multidisciplinary work has appeared in museums, galleries, conferences, classrooms, speakeasies, rallies, digital screens, and on buildings all over the world.