During the summer, all national and provincial, regional and territorial landscape architecture associations and the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation collaborated to develop and issue a request for proposals to craft an action plan for the profession to advance justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our associations and in our profession.
After careful consideration of all JEDI RFP respondents, the CSLA-OALA-MALA Joint Task Force is pleased to announce that Capillary Consulting (“Capillary”) has been engaged to develop an action plan that addresses issues of racism, diversity and inclusion within the profession and its associations. Capillary is a Canadian organization specializing in change management. The diverse team has an extensive history of developing equitable cultures that embrace inclusive values for organizations similar to the CSLA, OALA, MALA and other provincial, territorial and regional component organizations.
The JEDI RFP was issued on June 1, 2021 by a joint task force composed of members of the CSLA JEDI task force, the OALA DEI task force, and the MALA EDI Committee. Applicants were given until July 5, 2021 to submit proposals. Members of the joint task force then carried out a detailed review of the applicants and met on September 16, 2021 to discuss the merits of each proposal. Following a consensus recognizing Capillary as the strongest candidate, select members of the joint task force met with Capillary for a virtual interview on September 20, 2021. During the interview, Capillary demonstrated a great energy and a passion to making change with a purpose and achieving societies that allow individuals to realize their potential.
The CSLA, OALA, and MALA look forward to working with Capillary on developing a multi-layered action plan to enable cultural change in our profession. Deliverables will include both nation-wide strategies to be enacted through the CSLA and a framework that can be used by component provincial organizations to develop regionally specific action plans. Work has already begun on this important initiative with recommendations for implementation expected by the end of the year and an action plan to be put into place by the Spring.
About the CSLA-OALA-MALA Joint Task Force
The CSLA-OALA-MALA Joint Task Force formed in January 2021 by members of the CSLA JEDI Task Force, the OALA DEI Task Force and MALA representatives. The primary objective of the Joint Task Force was to oversee an RFP process aimed at identifying a consultant to develop a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion action plan. The RFP called for a multi-layered action plan that could catalyze positive change at both the national-level and provide a framework for component organizations to develop region-specific strategies.
The overarching mandate of the RFP was to look at the demographic make-up of the profession, and the dominant culture(s), values and modes of practice, and provide guidance and recommendations in the interest of advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The action plan will:
- Aim to create initiatives with the goals of increasing engagement with members from underrepresented groups and looking at strategies to empower racial, gender, and social equity within the entire landscape architecture field.
- Focus on a review of each association and identify room for improvement in internal governance and processes.
Task Force Members
The CSLA JEDI Task Force is chaired by Lina Al-Dajani with the support of CSLA Executive Director Michelle Legault, CSLA Communications Coordinator Katherine Velluso, and CSLA members Hope Parnham, Emeka Nadi, Heather Cram, Jasmeen Bains, Marcela Karsin, and Pearl Yip, with the participation of representatives from the Common Space Coalition.
The OALA DEI Task Force is co-chaired by Gail Shillingford and Zara Brown with the support of OALA Executive Director Aina Budrevics and OALA members Mark Hillmer, Ina Elias, Khatereh Baharikhoob, Shahrzad Nezafati, Tina George, Sukhman Sanghera, Maxime Tudo, Leah Lanteigne, and Morgan Quinn.
The MALA EDI Committee is co-chaired by Desiree Theriault and Emily Sinclair with the support of the MALA President, Vanessa Jukes Strutt, and MALA members Omar de Mesa, Prachi Dey, Darcy Granove, Janelle Harper, Meaghan Pauls, and Michaela Peyson.