Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Friday, February 09, 2018

ideas for structuring employee resource groups

Employee resource groups are a key component of many diversity and inclusion programs. They provide a safe place for specific groups of employees, such as women, LGBTQ2S+, veterans, indigenous peoples, etc., to meet for support, networking, and personal and career development.

The following options present some ideas on structuring employee resource groups (ERGs) for large province-wide organizations. They allow for an evolution of the ERG structure in a scalable way as interest grows. In all cases, employees at other locations can still videoconference into the meeting individually or in small groups.

lgbtq2s+ employee resource group structures. diagram by rob goetze. full text in linked pdf

Click the image to enlarge it.

Check out the full document to learn more about these options...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

sowing seeds for the flourishing of LGBTQ2S+ employees

From my paper, "Sowing Seeds for the Flourishing of LGBTQ2S+ Employees"


In the corporate world, diversity and inclusion are often promoted as a way of increasing profit, competitiveness and innovation, attracting and keeping diverse employees, and gaining a better understanding of one’s customer base. People are invited to become part of the corporate culture because the company benefits from the diversity they bring … but the corporate culture is not changing for diverse peoples nor is it being changed by their inclusion. While employees do benefit, the primary focus is on the benefit to the company.

In governments, non-profit organizations and socially-conscious companies, we have the opportunity to make diversity and inclusion decisions with a primary focus on the benefits to employees, understanding that of course there will also be a benefit to the organization as a whole and to the clients.

It may seem like a small difference, but I believe that diversity and inclusion must first and foremost be for the people if it is to be authentic and avoid the risk of being assimilatory.

So how about an organization taking initiative to be a place where all employees flourish?

And specifically,

How might we develop our organization into an environment 
in which LGBTQ2S+ employees, in all their diversity, can flourish?

Read the whole paper here.

Friday, January 05, 2018

[images of faith, hope and beauty]

Of special interest to friends in Edmonton:

The Kule Folklore Centre at the University of Alberta in partnership with the Ukrainian Pioneers Association of Alberta is very pleased to launch a new exhibit Images of Faith, Hope & Beauty, featuring Ukrainian Canadian icons and iconostases from national and international collections.

The exhibit takes place December 6, 2017 through January 28, 2018 in downtown Edmonton in the gallery space at Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton.

This free exhibit has over 100 pieces. I especially like the area which has icons painted on ammo boards, by Contemporary Ukrainian artist, Oleksandr Klymenko. The screening room also has a video by him about his icons (runs around 12:30 p.m. and periodically throughout the day at other times). Very interesting to hear him speak about the contrast between death and life, war and peace, etc.

"Intercession of the Mother of God" icon by Oleksandr Klymenko. A bottom board from a box of AKM bullets, temera. 2017

For more information on the exhibit and the five unique collections of artifacts:

Read the Edmonton Journal article including a video about the show:

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

[one sacred community]

I saw this painting by Mary Southard in a small chapel at the Providence Retreat Centre in Edmonton. It's called "One Sacred Community". Here is a detail from it:

Detail from "One Sacred Community" by Mary Southard.

The full picture is found here.

Friday, December 08, 2017

[akkai padmashali's question and obama's answer...]

Direct link to video

Here's part of the conversation:
How can I speak up in front of a society when I am a criminal under Section 377?” she [Akkai Padmashali, a transgender activist] asked.

“I think the answer is, it begins with what you just did, which is to find your voice and be able to articulate your views and your experiences, and tell your story,” Obama answered.

“And that’s true of any group that is marginalized, stigmatized,” he continued. “Finding that voice, and being able to tell a story so that the perceptions somehow that you are different are broken down, because they start seeing their experiences in you. They see your humanity.

“Once that voice is there, hopefully others join you. So now you have networks, and organizations, and allies,” he said.

“And then, once that happens, it’s a matter of applying political pressure and being able to mobilize public opinion,” he instructed.
YouTube screenshot of Barack Obama responding to Akkai Padmashali's question.

Read the whole article at:

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

[queer virtue: what lgbtq people know about life and love...]

image of front cover of book: QUEER VIRTUE What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity
Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity

The Reverend Elizabeth M. Edman.
Beacon Press, Boston MA 2016

Read more about this book, including praise, a sample chapter, and a free study guide at the publisher's webpage.

sample quotes

For Paul, love was the glue that holds a community together. But that love was never designed to be insular. Rather, the evangelistic impulse is precisely about expanding that sense of love outward both in proclamation and in service to the larger community. This was one of the significant ways that Christianity diverged from Judaism, becoming a community that transgresses ethnic ties, hoping to expand in scope and scale to include those in need throughout the world. (p. 25)

The path of queer virtue looks something like this:

One discerns an identity;
One risks telling oneself and others about that identity;
One engages with others, touches others, to explore that identity;
One confronts and is confronted by scandal;
One lives out one's identity with and through community, looking to the margins to see who is not yet included.  (p. 27)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

apologies from the prime minister and others

It's the month of apologies...

Tweet from Justin Trudeau apologizing to former students etc. of Nfld and Labrador residential schools.  "Today, we apologize to former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools and to the families, loved ones, and communities for the painful & tragic legacy these schools left behind"

Justin didn't mince any words with his apology. Note the detail in the apology, and the language used.

Justin Trudeau apologies to the LGBTQ2S+ community, November 28, 2017.

Text link to the full apology.

And coming sometime in the future...

jesus prays, saying "Father, I pray you help me as I psych myself up to apologize for my people in the future... and inspire me with many ideas about how to make things right... (Sigh) If they would just follow my example in how to love others, I could avoid this embarrassment..."  cartoon by rob goetze

P.S. Was Justin also apologizing on behalf of Christians?

Monday, November 27, 2017

[voices of amiskwaciy and the seven sacred teachings]

logo for "voices of amiskwaciy" telling our stories project.
Voices of Amiskwaciy is a new webspace that "supports the community to create, share, discover and celebrate local Indigenous content online. It is guided by the values of ongoing consultation and collaboration with Indigenous communities in the spirit of reconciliation, dialogue and learning.

Voices of Amiskwaciy is hosted by the Edmonton Public Library and made possible in part by the Government of Canada."


There are few stories available at this time (Nov 2017) as the site recently launched, but the project looks very promising especially in terms of its posture and collaboration.

In particular, I'm intrigued by the 7 Sacred Teachings that the site has adopted:

Love: Engaging in relationships from a place of kindness, caring and compassion and supporting of self-determination.

Respect: Creating a safe space where stories are valued.

Courage: Committing to follow through on project goals.

Honesty: Being transparent about the process and progress of the project to the public.

Wisdom: Seeking out and including Indigenous knowledge throughout the project development.

Humility: Working in meaningful partnerships on an equal plane and being open to learning and embracing new ways of understanding, acting and knowing.

Truth: Creating an authentic Indigenous space where truths can be shared. (source)

They remind me somewhat of the four core values used by Generous Space Ministries:
Humility – “Might I be wrong?”

Hospitality – “Whose voices are missing?”

Mutuality – “Is everyone in our community empowered to make a difference?”

Justice – “How can I participate with you in dismantling the barriers preventing flourishing?” (source)

These 7 Sacred Teachings could readily apply (with very little adaptation) to other contexts where the goal is a space that welcomes and embraces people.