April 13, 2018

Our Values

We wholeheartedly support the good work of the social profit sector, but we also want to do this work while elevating our values.

  • Our values: We don’t discriminate against people because of their race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, personal appearance, physical or mental health, or physical ability. We believe you don’t have to choose between doing your work and being inclusive. We believe in kindness. We try to own our mistakes and learn from them. We value openness, difference and inclusion. We believe in authentic participation of those with intersecting identities, and we try to amplify the voices of all people in the communities we work in, particularly when looking at speakers and sessions. We believe in being transparent about living up to these values, and we welcome feedback.
  • Our vision: We want to see Canadian nonprofits and individuals aim higher; we want to think critically and engage authentically by recognizing colonization and furthering reconciliation with Indigenous people and working to end racism, misogyny, ableism, and all forms of discrimination.
  • Our goals: We will always seek to support realizing this vision in conference sessions. We believe there are real and large challenges, both in institutions and individuals, that the nonprofit sector as a whole isn’t addressing seriously enough, and/or fast enough. We want to try to effect positive change through education, through Xlerate Days. We believe we’re in this work to make a positive impact and the sector needs to include (who are we kidding, start with) ourselves and the organizations we work for.

A Note on Speakers:

Xlerate Day’s speaker application window is closed! Thank you for your interest. But we have something more to say on the matter:

We at Xlerate know that the social (nonprofit) sector is phenomenal. We also know we can do better. Conferences are places where we can take tangible steps  to move our sector towards real equity, real acknowledgement, real awareness and real progress. We’re focused on doing that in our tracks and sessions, and we’re doing that with our speaker selection.

Xlerate Day Toronto’s speaker lineup will be leading experts in their fields; they will also reflect our country’s and our city’s amazing diversity. And that, we know, is our real strength. (We’re Torontonians; it’s literally our city’s motto).

So here is our commitment to you and to our sector: Xlerate as a brand and Xlerate Day conferences are doing and will continue to do what we can to move our sector towards real equity, real acknowledgement, real engagement and real progress. We will do that by: 1, aiming to have a speaker lineup—both the conference as a whole and each session—that is diverse and inclusive in gender and gender identity, racial affiliation, physical ability, age, and sexual orientation; 2, always acknowledging the Indigenous territory and land where we’re active, and further by building awareness and doing knowledge-sharing around what we as a sector can do regarding Indigenous reconciliation and decolonization.

What point 1 means in practice is: we’re looking beyond just the ‘manel’ (AKA the all-male panel, a familiar conference sighting). We’ve made a goal for ourselves to have no session to be run only by white, cis-het, straight men. It’s not that white, straight, cis-het men aren’t invited to attend or to speak. They still are. It’s that they can’t be the only type of person speaking at a session: those of us who have historically been over-represented need to share the space. Just like some conferences won’t have someone working at a for-profit organization without also having someone from a nonprofit speak with them. It’s time we formally start to create space for everyone else. We want to acknowledge that expertise in our sector is actually diverse. And that lived experience matters. We hope we can help broaden this conversation (a conversation many of us have informally) and indeed broaden the expertise, with this rule.

If you think we are missing something or could do better, please let us know. We’re holding ourselves to an exciting new standard, but we’re learning as we go, and none of us is even close to perfect.