Let’s Speak Up!

Inclusive Nonprofit Board Governance Project

The DTES Neighbourhood House is developing a project called Let’s Speak Up! which aims to reduce the barriers residents face when choosing to be engaged in the Board governance that impacts their community. Through dialogue, education and the commitment of local agencies we are planning to support the capacity development of already existing and potential inclusive Board composition.

Why Board Governance?

DTES neighbourhoods are facing significant pressure as Vancouver evolves. Within a climate of increasing income inequality, unaffordable housing and an opiod crisis, nonprofit and charity organizations are playing a more critical role in developing resilient communities.

Let’s Speak Up! Project Components

  •    Reduce poverty-based distrust
  •    Provide educational and engagement opportunities for community members and Boards
  •    Develop a Community Charter for Inclusive Board Governance
  •    Promote self-awareness of biases and assumptions
  •    Advocate for organizational, funder and governmental policy reform

Socio-economic diversity on Boards is incredibly valuable and accessible leadership and governance skill development is necessary for building connections, understanding context and strengthening confidence. Let’s Speak Up! is currently developing a series of workshops for community members looking for an opportunity to learn more about nonprofit governance in the DTES.

Inclusive Board Governance Workshop Series – WORKSHOP SERIES IS FULL

Share your experience! Learn from others! Ask questions!

Mondays from 6:00pm – 8:30pm and running from February 19 until March 26 

Facilitated by Jen Guest (Nova) and Matt Campbell

Guest Speakers TBA!

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • What a Board of Directors is and why we need them 
  • The benefits of good communication skills 
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of Directors 
  • How change happen in nonprofits  

The ideal candidate for this series is a resident or former resident of the DTES that has the lived experience of poverty. They may or may not have been on Board or Committee before.

We want to support those who are keen to develop the skills and knowledge that will amplify their voice in this relatively formal arena. We intend to be flexible in content and meet the needs of our participants as the series moves forward.

Completion of all 6 workshops required

Dinner included (6:00 pm) 

$150 bursary awarded when completed , $5 transportation honorarium, Childcare subsidy available (contact Matt ahead of time)


Inclusive Governance in the Nonprofit and Charity Sector: Panel Recap

On November 20, 2017, Let’s Speak Up! and Vancity’s SFU Office for Community Engagement hosted a panel discussion with Dean Wilson (BCCSU), Bill Walters (DiverseCity on Board), Maria Turnbull (The Vantage Point), Grace Tait (YWCA Crabtree), and Dr. Miu Chung Yan (UBC School of Social Work) about why socio-economic diversity on Boards of Directors is important for the sustainability of nonprofit organizations.

This was some of their insight:

Figure out the right people. Make sure they’re compensated. Make sure they are able to get over the hardships that prevent them from doing what they want to do.” Dean Wilson 
“If an organization works with community or clients where socio-economic factors are a consideration, it would be really important for that organization to reflect that in their governance; that they have that wisdom and common sense imbedded in it.” Bill Walters  
“From an organizational level, decisions are stronger because we’ve analyzed them from different perspectives and at the systems level, with stronger organizations, we are in a position to make a more positive community impact.” Maria Turnbull 
“It’s more relevant to the community to see someone like me, who is of color, who is participating and who is asking the tough questions of an organization.” Grace Tait 
“If you don’t know the people, you don’t know the need and you are not going to serve them.” Dr. Miu Chung Yan

For more information or a full transcription of the event contact Matt at matt@dtesnhouse.ca

Other resources available to you:

The Vantage Point


DiverseCity onBoard

Chartered Professional Accountants

Charity Village

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