Podcast: Digging in with ONN

Digging in with ONN is a podcast that focuses on the issues that matter to the nonprofit sector in Ontario. With a public policy lens, we will discuss the realities faced by individuals and organizations in our sector. 

This first podcast series supports ONN’s efforts to advance Decent Work and will be using an intersectional lens that centers on Truth and Reconciliation, Racial justice and equity practices. Decent Work is a term coined by the International Labour Organization to describe what good work looks like – fair, stable, and productive. Decent work specifically ties together the goals of social protection, economic security, thriving businesses and community well-being. 

Podcast Hosts:

Image of Yamikani Msosa

Yamikani (they/them) is a Black genderqueer Malawian arrivant currently living in Tkaronto who grew up as a visitor on Algonquin Territory. As a creative, strategic consultant and facilitator, they love building containers for connections to be forged, and holding space for individual, community, and systems transformation. Yamikani is committed to a practice of anti-racism, decolonization and anti-oppression, using popular culture, creative facilitation, emergent strategy and digital engagement. They completed hir Master’s degree in Women and Gender Studies at Carleton University, and a Certificate from Michigan State University in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Organizational Change. Yami currently sits on the eQuality Project Advisory Committee, Black Femme Legal Toolkit Advisory and Cossette Media Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.

Image of Kavita Dogra

Kavita (she/her) has been in the NFP sector for over a decade and has a variety of communications skills. She spent the last 4 years developing her digital engagement strategy skills and learning how to build and grow digital audiences. Kavita is the founder of We Talk Women, a humble organization working to raise awareness about girls’ and women’s rights issues. Through the organization, she hosts events that expose the human rights injustices being experienced by women and girls in Canada and around the world. Kavita also co-chaired the committee that organized the Women’s March in Toronto (2017-2019).

Our goal is to make public policy discussions more accessible and through storytelling, shed light on the issues that our sector’s workers and volunteers are facing. 

All of our episodes will be available below with transcription but to help us reach more people, please like, subscribe and share!

Episode 0 – Welcome to Digging In With ONN 

This inaugural episode of Diggin In with ONN sets the intention for the series on Decent Work and gives a preview of what’s to come as we dive into topics of racial equity, Truth and Reconciliation, organizational and individual systems change as it relates to diversity & inclusion within the nonprofit sector and more with leaders who are working to reshape the sector.

Episode 0 transcript.

Episode 1- Decent Work Movement Building

The Decent Work movement building has been part of ONN’s fabric for the last several years. Join us as Pamela Uppal, Policy Advisor at ONN breaks down how nonprofits can lean into creating equitable conditions for workers in the nonprofit sector using Decent Work practices. 

Guest biography: Pamela (she/her) cares deeply about how women experience the world and so her work over the past 10 years has focused on creating gender-equitable systems by bridging frontline work, research initiatives, and policy advocacy. Currently, she is a policy advisor at the Ontario Nonprofit Network leading their decent work, care economy and future of work portfolios.

Episode 1 transcript.

Episode 2 – Anti-Black racism and solutions for change

Over the last decade, Rudayna Bahubeshi has tirelessly advocated for racial justice and equity. In this episode, we unpacked systemic and interpersonal realities of anti-Black racism and racism within the nonprofit sector, while exploring formal and informal solutions for change within the sector.

Guest biography: Rudayna Bahubeshi is an advocate for advancing equity and justice and has nearly ten years of experience in nonprofits, charities and government. She is Black and Arab, of Eritrean and Yemeni descent, and lives in Tkaronto. She has led programming, communications, and stakeholder engagement strategies at various nonprofits and charities, and has worked on a number of political campaigns. Recently, she completed her Master of Public Policy at McGill University’s Max Bell School. 

Resource: Over-scrutinized, underfunded, and unsupported: How systemic anti-Blackness affects who gets grants and sector workers’ well-being 

Episode 2 transcript.

Episode 3 – Reimagining Governance

Nonprofits need to be asking bold questions and re-examining how governance is done; the status quo isn’t working for everyone. In this episode, project lead for Reimagining Governance, Erin Kang, shares how taking an expansive view of governance can open up space for asking different questions and deeper dialogue around issues of racial justice and equity. She also discusses how nonprofits could design their governance to align with their unique circumstances.

Episode 3 transcript.

Episode 4 – Radical Accountability and Decent Work

Accountability in the context of racial justice and equity practices draws attention to power and privilege. In this episode with Mojdeh Cox of Pillar Nonprofit Network, we break down the ways in which organizations and individuals can adopt practices of radical accountability to help advance Decent Work in the nonprofit sector.

Guest biography: Mojdeh Cox believes in the power of collective compassion, creativity and action to work towards solutions to complex social issues. Her dynamic 10+ years of experience working in co-visioning, co-designing and executing political and issue-based advocacy campaigns, and her social policy work equipped her with the analysis and practices needed in community-based leadership roles designed to bring people together. For over a decade, Mojdeh has coached organizational and community leaders, businesses and not-for-profit organizations on re-imagining their work through a heightened equity lens rooted in social justice.

Resource: Open letter to the sector: A call for radical accountability in social impact | Future of Good

Episode transcript.

Episode 5 – Pay Transparency, Decent Work  and Centering Black, Indigenous and racialized workers

It’s no secret that pay transparency is a vital aspect of Decent Work practices within the nonprofit sector. In this episode, we speak to Paul Taylor of FoodShare about the different ways nonprofits can ensure that pay equity, transparency and accountability are central to creating thriving work environments for Black, Indigenous and racialized workers. 

Guest biography: Paul Taylor is the Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto, and a lifelong anti-poverty activist. Growing up materially poor in Toronto, Paul has used his experience to fuel a career focused not just on helping others, but dismantling the beliefs and systems that lead to poverty and food insecurity, including colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchal structures. Each year, FoodShare provides a quarter-million people with fresh produce, and fights for their right to have access to “good” food on their own terms, rather than charity on someone else’s. Paul’s experience includes Executive Director roles at Gordon Neighborhood House and the Downtown Eastside Neighborhood House. 

Resource: FoodShare’s Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation and Making pay transparency a reality | FoodShare

Episode transcript.

Episode 6: Disability Justice, Affinity Groups and Decent Work

In this episode, Ingrid Palmer breaks down the framework of disability justice and access centered practices within nonprofits, especially for BIPOC workers. She outlines the different ways nonprofit organizations within the sector can use affinity group models as a means to integrate intersectional solutions to advancing Decent Work. 

Guest biography: Ingrid Palmer is the Director of Networks and Relationships at Toronto Neighbourhood Centres as well as the CEO and founder of Focus On Ability – a motivational campaign designed to inspire triumph over adversity. As a visually impaired storyteller, advocate and award-winning inspirational speaker, Ingrid Palmer enjoys spotlighting traditionally unheard narratives to build community and connection between diverse groups.

Resource: TNC Relationships, Belonging and Anti-Oppression Charter

Episode transcript.

Episode 7: Beyond the Rainbow: Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ workers

The Enchanté Network is an organization connecting and supporting 2Spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities and nonprofit workers across Canada. In this episode, we connect with Roland and Noah to discuss the different realities 2Spirit and LGBTQIA+ workers face within the nonprofit sector, and we dig into how to make nonprofits more gender-inclusive from a Decent Work perspective. 

Guest biographies: Noah is a Black person of trans experience with a passion for creating dialogue and space for Black queer and trans communities to exist as their fullest selves. Noah received his bachelor’s in Social Work from Carleton University in 2014 and has worked with various Black and 2SLGBTQ+ organizations in Ontario including Jaku Konbit, Kindspace, the Centretown Community Health Centre, the LGBT Youthline, Rexdale Pride, and Family Services Ottawa’s Around The Rainbow program. He is currently the Program Manager with The Enchanté Network, where he gets to use his vast experience to support 2SLGBTQI+ organizations and groups across the country”

Roland Jones is Saulteaux–Cree, originally from Regina, Saskatchewan (Treaty No. 1 & 4) and is currently living on Algonquin Territory in Ottawa. They are a Two Spirit, Non-Binary and Queer multimedia artist, educator and full-spectrum doula in decolonizing our approach to gender, sexuality and sexual health. They are currently the Two Spirit Coordinator at The Enchanté Network.

Resource: Driving Transformational Change: A Funder’s Guide to Supporting 2SLGBTQI+ Organizations

Episode transcript.

Episode 8 – Centering Black and Indigenous Youth

Indigenous, Black and racialized youth are calling for accountability as part of centering Decent Work practices. In this episode, Shanese Anne Steele breaks down the systemic barriers faced by youth in the nonprofit sector, while also calling for accountability around efforts of decolonization. 

Guest biography: Shanese Indoowaaboo Steele is an Afro-Indigenous, Fat Femme living between Edopikaang (North York) and Decatur il, both traditional territories of the Anishinaabe (Mississaugek and Potawatomi) People. With roots in the Caribbean (Trinidad/Carriacou) and Métis and Nibisiing Nations, Shanese works to bridge the gap between Black and Indigenous Peoples within Turtle Island through writing, education work and facilitation.

Episode transcript.

Episode 9 – Reimagining Indigenous, Black and racialized leadership within the nonprofit sector

In this episode, we discuss reimagining leadership from our current understandings within the nonprofit sector and its connections to Decent Work with Dr. Vidya Shah. Some of the questions we explore are: What are leadership competencies? What are some of the realities faced by Black, Indigenous and racialized leaders stewarding this work within their respective organizations? What role does white leadership play in navigating organizational efforts around racial justice? 

Guest biography: Dr. Vidya Shah is an educator, scholar and activist committed to equity and racial justice in the service of liberatory education. She is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University and her research explores anti-racist and decolonizing approaches to leadership in schools, communities, and school districts. She also explores educational barriers to the success and well-being of Black, Indigenous, and racialized students. Dr. Shah teaches in the Master of Leadership and Community Engagement, as well as undergraduate and graduate level courses in education. She has worked in the Model Schools for Inner Cities Program in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and was an elementary classroom teacher in the TDSB. Dr. Shah is committed to bridging the gaps between communities, classrooms, school districts and the academy, to re/imagine emancipatory possibilities for schooling.

Resources: Master of Leadership and Community Engagement (MLCE)Podcast Episodes – UnLeading 

Episode transcript.