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BIPOC Equity and Access Facilitator - North York Women's Shelter

Sep 19, 2020
Toronto, Ontario
Entry Level, Early Career

Contract (8 months), Full-Time
Start Date: 
August 2020
Reports to: Program Manager

About Us and Summary of the Role


North York Women's Shelter actively supports the rights of women and children to build lives free of violence by providing non-judgemental safe shelter, advocacy, and a range of programs & services including 24-hour crisis support.


Our vision is to create a community characterized by gender equality where women and their children feel empowered and safe and all services are provided according the NYWS’s Trauma-Informed Key Principles.


The COVID-19 pandemic has a profound impact on the mental health and resilience of survivors of violence. Within the shelter itself, we are witnessing the impacts of stress on both adults and residents of the shelter for whom access to supports has been greatly reduced. There is growing signs of isolation and the lack of community bonds among residents. In the community, we know that compounded by the pandemic, many survivors are unable to access VAW supports. This is even more true for BIPOC survivors who may not be aware of supports or feel that there are no supports appropriate to them.

We have therefore created a position that will foster community, resilience and a great sense of equity and access for residents within NYWS as well as form linkages to supports within the community. The Equity and Access Facilitator will work to increase access to culturally specific mental health supports for individuals and groups experiencing domestic violence within NYWS and to increase support to our community in North York. They will lead specific group programming within the shelter, focusing on BIPOC survivors while also mapping culturally competent community supports in the community. Therefore, the Facilitator will be bringing focus on equity and access for survivors of violence, particularly survivors who are racialized support the ongoing outreach initiative within the community.  Integral to this role is an understanding of trauma-informed, sex positive, harm reduction, anti-racist/anti- oppression principles and frameworks, including an articulation of how these principles factor into NYWS’s working environment.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities

  • Engage in consultation with BIPOC residents on individuals needs and interest in programming supports.
  • Foster solidarity between BIPOC residents through group initiatives and programming and developing shared outcomes and goals.
  • Sit on the NYWS Anti-Racist Task Force and develop a parallel process for residents
  • Provide recommendations to Program managers and Program staff on programming initiatives
  • Introducing culturally specific programing within the shelter including food security activities, healing traditions, significant cultural supports and celebrations.
  • Develop train the trainer sessions with staff on topic such as culturally specific supports within the community, and cultural competency training including Anti Black Racism.
  • Foster and maintain a trauma-informed approach in their work with clients and colleagues
  • Develop community mapping tools for culturally specific mental health supports within the North York area.  Also Including, but not limited to, legal support, employment & education opportunities, social assistance, health services and counselling referrals.
  • Respond to outreach calls from community partners
  • Support NYWS frontline staff in becoming familiar with community resources
  • Develop professionally through supervision, team meetings, external training events
  • Compile and present statistical data and reports for Program Manager and Director of Development to review for program funders.
  • Consult and support development of educational material for wider community through marketing campaigns.
  • Recognize and manage challenging situations in a Trauma-Informed manner as per NYWS policy, particularly involving justice systems i.e. CAS and police
  • Collaborate with treatment team members and participate in regular team meetings to discuss and plan for effective support of residents
  • Uphold confidentiality of all clients and residents in accordance with organizational policies and subject to legal requirements;
  • Attend and participate in additional team building, training, in-services, and community outreach projects as required
  • Perform related duties as assigned by Program Manager
  • Maintain compliance with all NYWS policies, procedures, and Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Other duties as required
  • Able to work morning, evening, and weekend shifts

Qualifications and Skills
The Successful Candidate will hold:

  • A commitment to anti gender-based violence work through an intersectional lens
  • Preferably a Graduate degree in the areas of Education, Equity, Counselling, Community Development or related fields OR a combination of extensive professional and personal experience
  • Track record of organizing, community building, participatory collective action, anti-racist anti-oppression work, community development within racialized equity seeking communities
  • Skilled at creating engaging group programming
  • Skilled at skills development and skills sharing work between participants
  • Skilled at conflict desclation and de-esclation
  • Commitment to social justice work
  • A sound understanding of trauma-informed work
  • Demonstrated competencies including communication, innovative and creativity, teamwork, flexibility and adaptability, accountability, strategic and collaborative thinking
  • Passion and alignment to NYWS’s values, mission, and goals
  • Knowledge of the impact of systemic marginalization on women and children, including sexism, racism, poverty, homophobia, transphobia, and dis/ability
  • Computer literate, including high proficiency in Microsoft Office programs i.e. Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  • Current CPR and First Aid training an asset
  • Satisfactory Vulnerable Sector Checks (PVSC)
  • Strong preference will be given to racialized candidates who represent the populations served by NYWS

The Successful Candidate will possess the following skills:

  • Ability to successfully work from an anti-racist/anti-oppression and trauma-informed practice framework
  • Ability to maintain a mature and realistic approach to the systemic barriers of the client being served and knowledge of and self-awareness around transference and counter-transference
  • Excellent professional and empathetic communication skills, as well as strategic problem-solving and collaborative thinking skills
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to set priorities
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a strong dynamic team
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a pet-friendly environment
  • Strong adherence to ethical policies, procedures, and exercises a high degree of confidentiality and privacy of information as outlined in NYWS policies and procedures, as well as in Trauma-Informed Practice – Key Principles

Physical Requirements

NYWS has put into place a number of infection prevention and control measures to prevent the transmission of COVID 19. Additionally, this role may have other physical requirements:

  • Ability to adhere to all COVID-related physical distancing needs and wear any PPE as mandated by congregate care guidance as well as NYWS policies (face mask and on occasion face shield)
  • Exposure to disinfectant such as peroxide solution, alcohol-based hand-sanitizer and disinfection wipes (such as Lysol wipes)
  • Exposure to illnesses such as cold and influenza on a weekly basis
  • Exposed to loud sounds and high noise levels on a weekly basis.
  • Exposed to possible risks of managing conflicts amongst women and children in crisis
  • Exposure to volatile external threats (abusive partners)
  • As employees of an organization committed to harm-reduction, exposure to women who may be under the influence of substances including, but not limited to cannabis
  • Exposure to pets on a regular basis
  • Must at all times be able to function effectively and accountably with women, children, and adolescents who may have mental or behavioral challenges. The staff must be able to demonstrate appropriate daily behavior, express appropriate emotions. Hostility, aggression and unnecessary or inappropriate physical actions as well as inappropriate emotional expression are not acceptable.
  • Must be flexible to work evenings and weekends as required.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Client satisfaction
  • Continuous Improvement (professional development participation)
  • Appropriate and professional representation of NYWS at fundraising and outreach events
  • Team collaboration
  • Community referrals
  • Documentation
  • Commitment to Trauma-Informed principles
  • Alignment with Mission, Vision, Values

To Apply

Please email résumé and cover letter, along with availability, to Vicky Sage with subject line 'EAF 0720' by 5:00pm on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Potential candidates will be contacted.

We respectfully ask no phone calls or visits, and any made will not be returned.

This job is from CharityVillage