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Our Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission

Equitas advances equality, social justice and respect for human dignity through transformative human rights education programs in Canada and around the world.

To deliver on our mission, Equitas’ programming contributes to the empowerment of individuals and groups that are subject to discrimination, exclusion and other forms of human rights violations to challenge inequality and discrimination and take action to respect, protect and defend human rights.

 

Our Vision of the World

Equitas is working towards a world in which:

  • Human rights education is a process of lifelong learning for all
  • Positive values, such as non-discrimination, respect for diversity, gender equality, inclusion and solidarity, are shared and contribute to a sense of common humanity
  • Individuals and groups are empowered with knowledge and skills to take action to claim and defend their own human rights and the rights of others
  • Barriers to meaningful participation are removed and collaboration and equitable partnerships are encouraged so that individuals and groups, particularly women, children and youth, have opportunities to reach their full potential
  • Intersecting forms of discrimination and exclusion are understood and addressed
  • Local leadership capacity emerges to influence decision-makers and hold governments accountable for their actions or inaction in respect of human rights

 

Our Values

Equitas’ values speak to the way we approach our work and how we intend to go about achieving the results outlined in this plan. They represent our collective will to live and work in a way that is consistent with human rights values and are rooted in the values which motivate and inspire members of the Equitas team. They challenge us to constantly reflect upon and improve our practice.

 

Equality & Non-discrimination

  • We affirm our commitment to equality, social justice and respect for human dignity for all.
  • Our efforts to advance equality and non-discrimination are a pillar on which we build our programs.
  • We work to overcome the imbalances in power which lead to inequalities in order to establish equality between men, women and those who do not identity as one or the other – in society as well as within our own organization.
  • In our interactions inside the organization and with our external stakeholders, we do not discriminate, including on the basis of race, religion, ability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or social status. We recognize and work to alleviate the impact of intersecting forms of discrimination.
  • We take action to prevent violence, discrimination and harassment in all their forms in the context of our programs and internal operations.

 

Meaningful Participation 

  • Meaningful participation is a fundamental right. It is a key ingredient in achieving both empowerment and the realization of all human rights.
  • We intentionally create opportunities for participation and to build the capacity of those who face barriers to participation.
  • Meaningful participation of our team members and partners in all stages of our project cycle is critical to our success.
  • We view stakeholders and beneficiaries as key agents of change – not mere recipients – and we encourage their active engagement and participation as opportunities for mutual learning and co-creation.
  • We foster a climate that encourages the free expression of opinions and ideas and we give full consideration to the ideas of others.

 

Accountability

  •  We are accountable to our stakeholders and the beneficiaries of our actions and act in manner that is consistent with our human rights principles and our values.
  • We maintain a high level of integrity and transparency.
  • We respect our commitments to stakeholders, beneficiaries and to each other.
  • We communicate our expectations in a clear manner and engage in regular dialogue with stakeholders, beneficiaries and each other to ensure follow up.
  • We recognize and learn from mistakes.

 

Mutual Respect and Trust

  • Equitas’ participatory approach is rooted in trust and respect.
  • We respect and trust each other and those with whom we work.
  • We listen to and make an effort to understand our colleagues, partners and others.
  • We recognize the critical role of open dialogue in our success.
  • Our openness and transparency build confidence and contribute to the fulfillment of our mission.

 

Equitable Partnership

  • Collaboration is fundamental to the success of our mission.
  • We develop strategic alliances and partnerships based on a shared vision and priorities with those who share our commitment to the advancement of human rights for all.
  • We recognize that we cannot be successful unless we work in sustainable partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
  • We recognize and respect the knowledge and experience of our partners and our partnerships provide a forum for mutual learning.
  • We recognize that equitable partnerships require investments of time and energy and that open dialogue is critical to acknowledge and address power dynamics within these relationships.

 

Innovation

  • We seek to be at the forefront of human rights education practice so as to be better equipped to respond to the evolving needs in the communities where we work.
  • We strive to make use of new technological advances and learning to enhance the reach and impact of our programs.
  • We work in a constantly evolving environment, where the pursuit of learning is at the forefront of all we do.
  • We learn from our experiences and seek opportunities to create new solutions that drive both our mission and our motivation.
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