Inclusion in Action: An Organizational Culture Shift Tool

In November 2021, the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) committed to “Accountably dismantle racism and other barriers to full inclusion.” Making this decision required a lot of talking, a lot of listening, and even more self reflection. What we needed to do next was move.

The Justice and Equity Team was asked “how do we turn our words into action?” To many, the task at hand seemed overwhelming. That’s where the Organizational Culture Shift Tool came in. 

The following is an excerpt from the Organizational Culture Shift Tool Guide, a supplementary guide to help groups shift specific aspects of their organizational culture so it is more inclusive for specific demographics of people. It is a living document, which means we will continue to make updates as we go based on the feedback and questions we receive. You can access the original document here.

The Culture Shift Graphic is a visual you can use to guide the change process, communicate to members about the steps you are following, and where you are at in the journey.  You will notice that it is cyclical to illustrate that this process has no beginning or end and can start in multiple places—the two most common being “Inviting Feedback” or “Intentional Focus”.  There is a spiral in the centre which reflects that there is movement in this cycle, helping to move the organizational culture in the direction of greater inclusivity. Every step on the cycle is followed by a line pointing inward toward “Affirming and Managing Personal Discomfort.” This guide provides details about each stage in the cycle including questions to consider for managing personal discomfort. See the Responsibility Covenant Guide for more details about effectively managing personal discomfort.

Where to begin?

You may begin to address a particular form of oppression and/or exclusion in your organizational culture because someone provides feedback about their experience or you may choose to proactively choose a form of exclusion/oppression to focus on such as family/relationship structures, dis/ability, class, race, gender, age, etc.

Check out this video explaining how.

How have you have you experienced the process of intentional change toward inclusivity? Leave your respectful comments below!


Call and Response, the Canadian Unitarian Council’s new blog, is a forum for sharing ideas, tools, and resources with people and organizations who want to create a more loving, just, and equitable world.

Amber Bellemare is the truth healing and reconciliation program coordinator and Erin Horvath is the justice and equity lead for the Canadian Unitarian Council.


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