Women Transforming cities has a strong legacy of over 10 years of grassroots community organizing and advocacy in Vancouver, and is part of a network of organizations working on urban issues globally.
During the last two years, the organization has gone through a period of significant change. Building upon a decade of work by dedicated founders and volunteers, we have been able to establish a small but mighty staff team. Our team leveraged the energy of more than 45 volunteers, 90 members, and 10 board directors to grow our campaigns, programs, and activism to collectively reach more people.
Like all organizations, over the past two years we have been challenged by what it means to build community and solidarity in a virtual environment. We have also deepened our understanding and redefined our intentions of what it means to be an organization driven by principles of anti-oppression, decolonization, and anti-racism.
All of this work has helped us refine our theory of change and the role that we play as one organization in a broader movement of values-aligned activists, individuals, and collectives working to dismantle intersecting systems of oppression and transform where we live into places where everyone can belong, participate, and have equity.
We began to reflect on the external language we use and the way we communicate our work. Through consultation with our members, volunteers, staff and board, we have undergone a process to transform our mission and vision into an organizational statement that more fully captures the way we strive to show up and impact change in the places we all live.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this process, including our wonderful facilitators Manisha Narula and Alyssa Mcdonald who gently guided us, as we reflected on the impact we have collectively achieved, and imagined what might be possible.
I wanted to highlight a few specific changes in the language we are using:
Gender inclusion: WTC has always been inclusive and advocated for all gender identities and expressions. However, this was not reflected in the language we used as an organization. We now use the language ‘equity-deserving’ genders to reflect that we work with and alongside all people who experience inequity as a result of their gender identity. This includes women, girls, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, Two-Spirit, LGBTQIA++ and allies.
We still have work to do to make sure WTC is inclusive of these equity-deserving genders, and we are committed to continuing to learn and evolve our understanding, language, and actions around gender inclusion.
Where we work: ‘Cities’ is in the name of the organization, and it is where a lot of our work has historically been centered. As we grow the reach of our organization, we are working in local communities of all types and sizes - including cities, towns and neighbourhoods. We continue to be focused on municipal governments as an important and often overlooked site of resistance and action in our pursuit of gender, racial, and social equity.
You can read our full organizational statement here.
Organizations are a sum of their parts - and as we continue to learn and evolve as individuals and a community, so will WTC. We are committed to sharing what we learn out loud, and to always back up our works with action.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of WTC over the past 10 years.
We are always looking for new perspectives and voices to join our community and contribute their energy, gifts, and passions to making the places we live more equitable and sustainable. Learn more about becoming a member, volunteer or donor — there’s plenty of work to do and we’d love to have you on board!
Written by WTC's Managing Director, Ash Peplow Ball