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The Pathway Program: A New Look at Volunteering.

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Why do people who are consumers of mental health services want to volunteer? Some want a chance to get out of their home, develop some routine in their lives and keep busy. Some want a chance to meet new people, to brush up on their skills and to
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            C           a         n         a        d            i       a      n        J     o    u     r    n    a     l     o   f     V  o  l  u n t e e  r    R  e  s   o   u   r    c    e    s       M     a      n      a          g           e        m     e          n          t                 Canadian Journal of VolunteerResources ManagementLe journal canadien de gestiondes bénévoles Volume 13.22005 L       e             j          o       u      r      n     a     l        c     a   n   a   d   i   e  n    d  e   g  e  s  t   i  o   n     d   e    s        b    é     e     n      e       é      é      é      v       o             l      e         s THE CHALLENGE OF DIVERSITYLE DÉFI DE LA DIVERSITÉ  TABLE OF CONTENTS   EDITORIAL Joan Cox   DIVERSITY AND THE ROLE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VOLUNTEERS  Alison Caird, Ontario . ........................................................................................ . 3 THE PATHWAY PROGRAM: A NEW LOOK AT VOLUNTEERING Christine Gagné, Ontario   .................................................................................... 9 UTILIZING DIVERSITY TRAINING TO BUILD AN INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE Laraine Kaminsky, Ontario   .................................................................................. 11 NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES: THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF CITIZENS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES Krista Flint,  Alberta   ............................................................................................ 13 OPERATIONAL STRESS INJURY SOCIAL SUPPORT VOLUNTEERS Mark Caldwell, Quebec   ..................... ................................................................ 16  OUTREACH RECRUITMENT Diana Boudreault, Ontario .................................................................................. 19 BOOK REVIEW Debi Zaret, Ontario ........................................................................................... 21 Editorial Team Carol Anne ClarkeJoan Cox Chris JarvisSheila JenkinsLynne WhiteheadJoan WyattISSN 1192-1676Subsciptions and correspondence can be sent to:The Journal of Volunteer Resources ManagementRR#3, Woodlawn, Ont. K0A 3M0Fax: 613-832-8230 No part of this publication may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission from the Editorial Team. All articles are the express opinion of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or Editorial Team. The Publisher and the Editorial Team assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Letters commenting on articles are welcome, but may be edited for brevity and clarity. EDITORIAL The challenge of diversity is respectful inclusion in mainstream actionfocusing on common human characteristics and life experiences rather than differences such as ethnic background, orientation and physical or mental ability. It allows managers of volunteer resources to effectively incorporate individuals from all walks of life into their volunteer programs.In this issue, our editorial team has gathered a wide spectrum of articles, which will hopefully enhance your organization's approach to diversity. Alison Caird addresses a number of pertinent questions. What is diversity? Is there a time when it is acceptable to exclude certain people from volunteering? What do we need to do?CMHC's Pathway Program places consumers of mental health services in local volunteer positions. Christine Gagné outlines the Program's purpose, philosophy and process.Laraine Kaminsky focuses on diversity training in order to build a respectful, inclusive workplace.Krista Flint highlights the valuable community contribution of volunteers with developmental disabilities. Her article includes effective strategies for recruiting and retention of these individuals.Two dynamic examples of organizations successfully involving diverse groups of volunteers are the Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program and The Ottawa Police Service Outreach Recruitment project. Enjoy the stories of their evolutionary growth.Debi Zaret provides information about a self-assessment tool for evaluating an organization's ability to integrate volunteers with limited English and/or French language skills.We hope that the use of the concepts, hints and tools summarized in this issue will enhance your organization's capacity to successfully involve diverse groups of volunteers.Joan CoxEditorial Member  DIVERSITY AND THE ROLE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VOLUNTEERS by Alison CairdI was at my doctor's office this morning and on the wall was a poster of brightly coloured paper cutouts of hands being flung into the air by a crowd. The people were a purple and grey monochrome. The caption read, 'Celebrate community - honour diversity'. The message to me was that we are all pretty much the same, but what we accomplish when we pull and work together is vibrant and takes us to new heights. We are often facilitators of this type of group productivity in our roles as administrators of volunteers. We are the vital conduit that links our communities to our organizations, and our organizations to our communities. Through our efforts, we intimately know the people and the activities, internally and externally. In order to continue to do this well, we need to have a keen awareness of the issues because they are constantly evolving. We need to reflect upon and endeavour to make improvements to society's exclusionary practices as well as ask ourselves the following questions: w  What is diversity? w Is there a time when it is acceptable to exclude certain people from volunteering? w  What do we need to do as administrators of volunteers? w  What is our responsibility as individuals? What Is Diversity?  "Snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars, molecules, microscopic entities all come in communities. The singular cannot in reality exist." Paula Gunn Allen When you hear the word 'diversity' what immediately comes to mind? Is it a particular group, colour, action - as in affirmative action? On the road to inclusivity we have had our bumps and turns and although we are still moving forward, we are not home yet. Diversity is a continual process of increased opportunity and inclusion. Barbara Shapero, former member of the Diversity Initiative for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, said her definition of the concept of diversity is, "Respect for and embracing, the differences and similarities in people, because just looking at the differences polarizes people". In fact, the human race is more similar than it is dissimilar. A result of the human genome project, where they successfully mapped the human genetic  –    code in 2000, was that we now know that all human diversity is the product of one tenth of one percent of the human genome. The other 99.9% of the genome is identical in all humans. So why do these differences of one tenth of one percent cause so much strife? Is it fear of the unknown? Given this data, that is like standing in a 100 square foot room and being fearful of a one-inch hole in the wall.All Canadian provincial and territorial law specifically protects the rights of people despite their race, ancestry, place of srcin, colour, ethnic srcin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, marital status, family status and disability (mental and physical). However, not all human rights codes are similarly inclusive. Not all Canadian codes include pregnancy (e.g. Manitoba and Nunavut do), or political belief/activity (e.g. New Brunswick and Quebec do). And why is it that the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act is the only one that does not include sexual orientation? I was pleasantly surprised to see that Nova Scotia's Human Rights Act states that there is, "Prohibition of Discrimination. No person shall in respect of their…5(1)e Volunteer Public Service;… discriminate against an individual or class of individuals on account of h) age; i) race; j) colour etc." It is time we started to consider biases concerning a person's size as a new issue that needs addressing. Further, with our experience of SARS and HIV/AIDS, we are faced with an on-going spectre of additional discrimination as it pertains to illness.Shapero would like to add personality to our list, "We need to consider personality differences. Different personality types will take different approaches to getting tasks done, which creates conflict because it isn't discussed. Until we deal with personalities we won't see a lot of change: we just keep re-arranging the furniture".Legislation, although critical, does not change people's attitudes. Diversity is a state of mind - an attitude. I am reminded of what Viktor Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning   about his experience in a Nazi concentration camp, "Everything can be taken from us but one thing - the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given circumstance". Diversity is acknowledging that our community is made up of different members and ensuring we are not excluding any of those members from various opportunities. It is about creating an environment whereby everyone feels welcome and is free to participate; where there are no blatant, covert or systemic barriers to anyone's involvement. We need to change attitudes. Is There A Time When It Is Acceptable To Exclude Certain People From Volunteering? "I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But, I refuse to be blown off my feet by any." Mohandas K. Gandhi  - 3--4-  When it comes to the question of acceptable exclusion, what immediately comes to my mind are two kinds of scenarios: the First Nation group that wants to hire only First Nation volunteers to be Big Brothers to their clients; and the women's centre that makes a decision to disallow males to sit on their volunteer board. Scenario One: For the purpose of teaching, coaching, peer support and mentoring, it is acceptable to require only certain persons to participate in that particular role or activity to the exclusion of others. In several circumstances, having similar life and cultural experiences as another can often prove to be a useful asset. It can be educational, unifying and stress reducing. The decision to accept only First Nation volunteers to work as Big Brothers for First Nation boys, is determined in good faith without fraud or deceit. They wish to select from this distinct group, so they can teach, mentor and present a positive role model for their clients. This qualification is bona fide; the exclusion is not grounded in prejudice and is therefore acceptable. Scenario Two: Shapero says, "It would be understandable and legitimate for a women's centre to exclude men from their board". However, the centre should consider their position thoroughly. As Shapero states, "If you indeed have men who wanted to serve on the board, they would bring a unique perspective to the issues. Ultimately with any discrimination we all lose out".Recent research does support the fact that diversity promotes creativity and more effective problem solving. "Evidence demonstrates that cultural diversity among group and organization members can increase creativity, improve the quality of decisions and facilitate change by enhancing member flexibility. For example, researchers compared decision-making groups composed of all-Anglo individuals with groups that also contained members from Asian, Hispanic, and black ethnic groups. [Sic] The ethnically diverse groups produced more effective and more feasible ideas and the unique ideas they generated tended to be of a higher quality than the unique ideas produced by the all-Anglo group." 1 Perhaps a man on the women's centre board has networks that can open doors to fundraising possibilities for the centre that did not exist before. Perhaps it would be important for women to be able to see there are men who care and who are willing to support them. With a diverse team, solutions will be more interesting, creative, rewarding and yes, challenging. It is not unusual to see anger or resentment arise when speaking about diversity. Challenge and conflict can be a frightening experience. However, conflict can be healthy when facilitated in an effective manner. We start by finding a position of common ground and work forward. Remember, "A kite rises against; not with the wind." Effective conflict resolution can produce    –    better results and it is how we, as Shapero says, "compost all the garbage".It is healthy from time to time to review, rethink and challenge some of our policies to ensure we do not have the right reasons for the wrong policy, or vice versa. What Do We Need To Do As Administrators Of Volunteers? "The keys to any social reform lie in the acceptance of the need for correction and the commitment to finding ways to make that correction." Bobbye D. Sorrels As administrators of volunteers we are in the enviable position of being able to encourage and facilitate productivity in those who may be marginalized by their circumstances. The volunteer experience of a person with a disability, the new immigrant or our youth can lead to skill building that could potentially assist in attaining employment.Canada's culture embraces the act of helping others for no monetary gain. As a result, we are starting to observe people participating from every culture - even when volunteerism is not common in their country of srcin. As administrators, it behooves us to foster this by recruiting, welcoming, accommodating, encouraging and coaching these populations. We need to learn as much as we can about others. As Shapero says, "Individual fears and anger has a way of landing in our prejudices. The more we know, the less we fear."We need to strengthen community involvement and have our community's demographics reflected in our membership. If I live in Edmonton, 50% of my membership will most likely not be a visible minority because my community does not echo this percentage. If there are only 5 persons with a physical disability living in my town, representation on an organization's community advisory committee is not required. If our volunteer corps mirrors our community, it enhances our service to the community. The relevance and effectiveness of the link to community in service delivery has always been intuitively known. However research is now confirming this hypothesis. This past January I attended the Hospital Report Research Collaborative (HRRC) Regional Consultation Sessions with Ontario Hospitals, where they provided the results and details of their work and future directions. What hospitals have sought from the HRRC is that they investigate and report on what constitutes a high performing hospital.Recent HRRC research on what was 'distinctive' about high performing Ontario hospitals produced unexpected results. It was not the hospital type, size, budget, number of beds, etc., but rather, their:· strong information/knowledge transference; and · strong identification/interaction with their community, which was expressed as the strength and the scope of volunteer activities and an Auxiliary/Association presence   (i.e. volunteers fundraising for the hospital). 2   - 5 - -6-   Although this is very specific research, I believe we can safely extrapolate that similar findings could be predicted for most community services. It becomes evident then, that volunteers are more than people simply doing 'good works' - their presence could be the key to anticipating and navigating system level challenges and changes that drive success. The single, most important thing we can do as administrators of volunteers is ensure that our membership represents our community. What Is Our Responsibility As Individuals? "Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." Frank OutlawEveryone has a degree of prejudice and bias and we need to accept that this is a part of being a human. We need to be cognizant of our thinking and behaviours when around people who are different from us. Once we are aware of it, we can begin to question the bias. If we do not examine it, then there is no way to change it. Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: If you saw a young, black man in a BMW wearing several gold chains and a thick, gold bracelet, would you question how he earned his money? Shapero, "When we're taught personal bias, or it is assimilated from culture, simply recognizing the bias is important. Being conscious, being aware, realizing that I don't live in a bubble, I have my own biases too. These need to be voiced in order for change to happen. But they need to be voiced in a place of safety." Further, Shapero states, "My core philosophy is that if I harbour anger and hate, the only person it hurts is me. Therefore, it is my responsibility to heal those wounds whether they were taught or experienced, so that I can be a healthy individual and give back to my community."We need to look at our own biases, prejudices and fears as part of the process. In Conclusion "In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing - anti-humanism." Shirley Chisholm In struggling with these issues, I try to avoid the word 'normal' in the context of human beings. As soon as I find myself using it, I begin to think in terms of the 'abnormal'. I would go a step further and say, that until we eliminate the word 'different' in the context of humans, we will never achieve full acceptance of all humans. Different can be a loaded word if it is ethnocentric. Again, in this context, to suggest someone is different establishes that there is a 'normal' from which you are basing that opinion. People, with all of our marvelous complexities, just are. It does not need to be explained or labeled: it just is. It should just simply be accepted. We need a global mind. Shapero, "It is like the seat-belt legislation where it became a part of what everybody does - you get in the car, you put on your seatbelt. We don't think about or question it anymore. That's where we need to be". As administrators of volunteers it is as if we have all been commissioned to re-create the poster on my doctor's wall. We get to select the colours. Sometimes a colour dominates, because we have more paint in that colour, but we never paint the entire canvas blue. Well, some artists do, but it's rather predictable and boring. Works Consulted: 1. Robbins, Stephen P. The Truth about Managing People … And Nothing but the Truth, Prentice Hall PTR, NJ 2003. Page 1402. HRRC website: www.hospitalreport.ca  Alison Caird is the Manager, Volunteer Resources at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Ontario. She may be contacted at: caird-labrash.alison@torontorehab.on.ca TRANSLATION OF MAIN ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST  -7 - -8- BECOME ACTIVE IN THE SUMMER The summer is always a big season for volunteer participation with outdoor festivals, sports and leisure gamesand different summer activities. To learn about all the available volunteer opportunities, visit your localvolunteer centre.For a complete listing of all volunteer centres, visit Volunteer Canada atwww.volunteer.ca
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