Our Commitment to Diversity & Equity
Over the past months Federated Health Charities (FHC) has been a part of important and overdue conversations with members of the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Diversity Councils and the Black Ontario Public Service Employees Network regarding systemic racism in the health not-for-profit sector. We are thankful to these groups for opening up a dialogue with us that has brought to light historic inequities. These conversations have allowed FHC and it’s member charities to better focus on health inequities, particularly within the Black and Indigenous communities, and how FHC has played a role in reinforcing these. As an organization we recognize the links between structural anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and health inequities and how this leads to poorer health outcomes for Black and Indigenous communities. This structural racism can take the form of decreased access to funding, lack of awareness of health issues that are prevalent in Black and Indigenous communities, fewer supports available to combat health concerns, and a lack of Black and Indigenous voices involved in community health decisions.
Since inception, FHC has been dedicated to raising funds for its charity members to support health education and awareness, medical research, and client and patient services for all Ontarians. FHC and its charity members recognize the need for additional work to be done within the federation to ensure our membership is as diverse as the province it aims to serve. All of the charity members of FHC are dedicated to listening and learning in order to ensure there is representation for all Ontarians within the federation.
FHC is committed to ensuring they provide a vehicle for which OPS employees can contribute to the charities that best represent the health issues most important to them. We acknowledge that we are not currently providing a vehicle for all Ontarians, as our mission states. Our existing charity membership does not cover health issues that are prevalent in Black and Indigenous communities and we need to do better to correct that.
FHC and it’s member charities are committed to making changes and here are the steps we are taking:
- Taking immediate action to begin filling some of the gaps in our membership list by onboarding a charity that focuses on a prevalent health issue for Black Ontarians.
- Taking steps to increase OPS representation on our Board of Directors, particularly from the OPS Diversity Councils. We will also be increasing our efforts to ensure that Board members appointed by FHC member charities reflect the diversity of Ontario.
- Striking a Task Force to focus on reviewing existing FHC governance and onboarding policies. Objectives will include: creating governance models that reflect key elements of cultural safety and anti-oppression, amending our onboarding process to ensure it is not contributing to existing funding barriers, creating an ongoing process for assessing gaps in our membership against prevailing health issues that affect Black and Indigenous communities, and developing a more proactive and responsive charity recruitment process.
- Developing a minimum requirement for our member charities regarding their diversity and inclusion policies and practices as well as better communication and promotion of the work our charities are doing to serve health issues affecting Black and Indigenous communities.
Federated Health Charities and it’s member organizations believe in health equity and, moving forward, are dedicated to evaluating the gaps that exist within the membership, facilitate conversations to fill these gaps and ensure we work together to represent and serve the health needs of Black, Indigenous and racialized communities to better fulfill our mission of supporting the health of all Ontarians.
Federated Health Charities
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