Man and woman talk in city's public space

Shifting Cities Towards Equity

YWCA City Shift aims to make our region more equitable, just and prosperous by supporting Metro Vancouver cities to challenge assumptions, incorporate diverse perspectives and support actions that serve the entire community. And the YWCA City Shift team has been busy rolling out this important work. 

Since hosting the Reimagining our Cities event and workshop series last fall, we have been expanding our reach, talking and listening to civil servants and allies who share City Shift’s vision.  

In our conversations with elected leaders and municipal staff, we heard that city-focused resources on advancing equity and inclusion are hard to come by. So, we engaged Lisa Moffatt and Alix Krahn of Resilience Consulting, along with help from our City Shift Advisory Council members, to develop the Equity Kickstart Guide for Cities. This guide includes steps cities can consider as they embark on their community-facing equity journeys, along with promising practices, case studies, templates and other helpful resources.  

The City Shift team is also delegating at council meetings across the region and asking cities to consider piloting a project using an equity lens. Several cities are looking at potential pilots that include community-engagement practices, zoning bylaws and transportation plans.  

YWCA Director of Communications and Advocacy, Amy Juschka, and City Shift Project Lead, Shauna Shortt, recently facilitated a workshop at the Columbia Institute's High Ground Conference in March. They were joined by Amina Yasin, City Shift Advisory Council member and Director of Public Hearings and Planning, Renovate the Public Hearing with Simon Fraser University.  

The conference and workshop demonstrated how cities are poised and ready to take on this work. “We are excited by the level of engagement at the conference,” said Amy Juschka. “Cities are recognizing the value of this work and they are ready to embrace it. With our Kickstart Guide and leadership, we think that City Shift will have a long-term, positive impact on residents who are often overlooked in terms of their experience navigating civic life.” 

City Shift is also working with cities across the region to advance a Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) resolution calling on cities in BC to prioritize equity in their decision-making practices. We will be attending the annual UBCM conference in September 2023. 

We are thrilled by the momentum and excitement that City Shift is building and look forward to bringing you more updates. We are also very grateful to Women and Gender Equality Canada for their support.  

For more information on YWCA City Shift, contact Shauna Shortt at | 604 895 5722. 



This article is part of the 2023 Spring/Summer edition of our Contact Newsletter. 
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