One of the core values that shapes PAN’s work is to challenge stigma and discrimination, and a new step in this work is the Organizational Stigma Assessment Cycle Project (OSAC). OSAC will support organizations to learn where they may unintentionally be contributing to experiences of stigma and discrimination, and identify areas for growth and change. The idea for OSAC came out of community calls for action at PAN hosted community events, including the Stigma Reduction Interventions Deliberative Dialogue and Let’s Talk Stigma Reduction!
This project is built around intersectionality, a way to think about multiple inequalities people experience, and the larger systems that produce these inequalities- policies, societal attitudes, political and economic systems. For instance, intersectional stigma and discrimination looks at how someone might encounter stigma based on their HIV status and race and sexuality and drug use, rather than looking at stigma experiences based on HIV status alone.
Stigma and discrimination are affected by the multiple characteristics that makes us unique individuals, including gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, ability, and many other things. We recognize that not everyone feels stigma in the same way or faces the same types of discrimination.
The project is led by PAN and guided by people with lived and living experiences, along with community organizations and allies working in community services in BC.
A Learning Cycle Approach
The OSAC Project is a learning cycle for BC organizations to assess their work, and it uses a stigma reduction best practices framework to guide them through the process. The stigma reduction best practices framework is based on an extensive review of stigma reduction literature. Assessment tools based on the stigma reduction best practices framework will help in the examination of policies, programs, procedures, service access, and other areas within an organization’s functioning. With the information gathered, organizations can identify target areas for improvement, and action plans for change. The learning cycle will continue with regular evaluation of progress on targets, and assessment of further growth opportunities.
Peer review and support will come from a surveyor team made up of a person with lived experience and a community worker, who will help organizations in various stages of the process.
A provincial advisory group is established, and we held a hybrid Advisory Group meeting in October 2022 to discuss the best practices framework and build out areas of work. We are regularly connecting with various provincial groups undertaking their own stigma reduction work to see how we may work with or in support of each other.
The Organizational Stigma Assessment Cycle Project is being evaluated at all stages of the project so that we may adapt our work as needed to make it as effective as possible.
Learn more about PAN’s stigma reduction work
For more information, contact Leanne Zubowski (leanne @ paninbc.ca) or Janet Madsen (janet @ paninbc.ca).
Thank you to the Vancouver Foundation for funding this project to address systems change.
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