We were thrilled to have nearly 200 folks join us either in-person or via livestream from across BC for Physical Activity for All: Tools and Approaches for Equity in Active Communities. Interested in the top takeaways from Tuesday's event? We've put together a list of the night's top #PAforAll highlights, as shared by folks on Twitter.
Community Well-being Specialist Shannon Clarke kicked off the panel presentations with an acknowledgement of the fact that these type of conversations are often—including at this event—led by predominantly white, educated and able-bodied voices. Clarke says that as part of recognizing white privilege in society, those with privilege need to understand their responsibility to use that privilege to lift up the voices of others whose voices may not be heard as often.
PJ Naylor talks about investing in active spaces for transport as nearly one of the best investments #PAforAll— GreaterVictoriaCycle (@GVCC) November 21, 2018
Dr. PJ Naylor, UVic professor and co-chair of the Provincial Physical Activity Collaborative, shared a helpful document from the Global Advocacy for Physical Activity Council that breaks down the best physical activity-related investments that local governments can make. The document focused on creating a “whole-of-community” approach to investing in physical activity, including “urban design regulations and infrastructure that provide for equitable and safe access for recreational physical activity, and recreational and transport-related walking and cycling across the life course.”
Q: What's the 1st thing local govt can do to get started in equitable physical activity? A: We really have to understand people and understand the worlds they are living in BEFORE making policies and creating services (PJ Naylor). #PAforAll— BCAHL (@bchealthyliving) November 21, 2018
The Provincial Physical Activity Collaborative is walking its talk in this regard—their Inclusion, Equity and Accessibility subcommittee just completed a province-wide needs assessment with five regional consultations and a large survey to identify the needs of physical activity stakeholders in the province as they relate to equity. Some of the things they identified were the importance of enhancing networks and partnerships to continue the discussion around equity, it also identified that people need tools and resources that support equity, diversity and inclusion training, policy development, staff and volunteer training, and evaluation and monitoring supports. They’re producing a toolkit that is coming soon!
Tamburrini: Unintended health impacts is definitely a big part - something we see forgotten far too often #PAforAll— GreaterVictoriaCycle (@GVCC) November 21, 2018
Ame-Lia Tamburrini shared information about Health Impact Assessments, an evidence-based tool that informs decision-makers about the potential health effects of policies, projects and programs that they’re considering. In this way, it’s a future-looking approach that examines not only what the health effects of a potential policy are, but what the distribution across the population of those health effects will be, which is where equity comes into play.
How can local governments get started in #PAforAll & #equity work?— BCHealthyCommunities (@BC_HC) November 21, 2018
2. Reflect! Ask who will benefit from a policy/initiative? Who will not benefit (or worse, be harmed)? Are we okay with people not benefitting?
At BC Healthy Communities, we use an equity lens in all the work we do—from planning to policy; process to partnerships. Through our PlanH program (a partnership with the Ministry of Health), we recently released an Active Communities Action Guide, which explicitly applies an equity lens to physical activity and provides ideas and recommendations for local governments.
As part of our organizational commitment to equity, we’ve cultivated a reflective practice to build our own learning, allowing us to better examine not just who benefits from a given policy or initiative, but also who may be left out or even harmed in the process. In this way, an equity lens becomes a means for local governments to flag potential issues earlier in the process.
Effective engagement is a vital part of any equitable decision-making process. For more context, read a recent reflection on equity in engagement from our Community Engagement Coordinator, Celeste Zimmer.
Hailing from Charlie Lake in northern British Columbia, Johanna is a seasoned communicator and researcher with a deep curiosity about communities and the people that comprise them. Her background includes work with a variety of community-based organizations across the province.>>Full Bio