Elevate Equity is Toronto's first Trans-led organization promoting employment equity for Black, Indigenous Trans and Non-binary communities of colour.
We envision a world where BIPOC gender-expansive communities are thriving in every industry.
Elevate Equity aims to become an innovation hub; where visionaries come together to nurture freedom-work with kin.
Elevate Equity works with BIPOC gender-expansive communities connecting purpose to equitable employment; while innovating the relationship between employers and employees.
Decolonization leads us towards Freedom Work
The roots of colonialism affect all other facets of oppression: whether it be; racism, transphobia, cissexism, ableism, fatphobia, the creation and upholding of borders, classism, capitalism and all other ways colonialism has recreated itself in order to survive and maintain domination. In remembering ourselves, and unrooting colonialism, we find new ways to create space for purpose work. We move with the knowing that unraveling shared oppression allows us to come to our purpose work as a collective.
Global Indigeneity leads us towards Collectivity
Centering Global Indigeneity orients us towards our historical connection to culture, language, beliefs, lands/nature, ways of being and maintaining ancestral systems; rather than shared oppression. We uphold those doing the difficult and necessary work of remembering who we are by going back to retrieve and connect to our lineages.
We value the work of contemporary caretakers; Anishinabee, Mississaugas of the Credit (Treaty 13), Haudenosaunee, Wendat, Cree, and Seneca, as well as all landworkers and stewards of the land. We recognize that there are many displaced peoples who have complex relationships to their traditional lands and honour the interconnectedness between colonized peoples.
Community can and does keep each other safe
It is imperative to lean into ways of being with each other that reflect care, trust, commitment and our traditional ways of being. Elevate Equity strives to orbit our work around the central tenant that community care and connection is what fosters safe and happy communities. We commit to unlearning harmful practices promoting disposability, punitive measures of relationality, and communication styles/abilities with the goal of reaching as much of our communities as possible.
Elevate Equity was born out of an unmet need for employment access and financial stability for BIPOC gender diverse people “71% of trans people have at least some college or university education, about half make $15,000 per year or less” (Transgender People in Ontario, Canada, 2015). After being in multiple sectors and experiencing transphobia and racism in the workplace we knew our communities needed resources to access employment and employers needed to be better equipped to directly address harm. Historically, our communities have experienced levels of oppression and trauma that ensure we remain displaced, disconnected, and unable to access opportunities within an inherently corrupt system. Elevate Equity was created with the hope that employment could also be purpose-work, an intentional reframing of employment that strengthens collective action. Employment Equity combined with purpose work is the marriage that leads us towards deepened collaboration. Through this work our communities can access themselves and each other because our basic and thriving needs are achieved.
With the creation of core programming, and feedback from our community, our mission and vision became more solidified. We realized our communities need to be rooted in themselves, each other and the earth; in order to get to a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual practice where we are able to access joy and autonomy in our work.
Elevate Equity quickly realized that sector-wide struggles were being repeated inside our organization, despite our best efforts to mitigate harm amongst each other. Through this learning we realized that employment equity was not possible without strategic outsourcing and programming that met the needs of our workplace trauma healing. Our initial starting point was grounded in resourcing BIPOC gender expansive communities with skills and education around community building, financial, employment and mental health support; we realized that we needed a new entry-point. We needed to focus on money scarcity patterns and building windows of tolerance so our communities could access employment and purpose work. Elevate Equity envisions BIPOC gender expansive communities experiencing the benefits of stable, long term freedom-work.