Creating space for transformative conversations

In the Media

Daily XTRA and The Georgia Straight Credit QMUNITY Consultation

June 04, 2015

The May 27 Building QMUNITY dialogue successfully kicked off a series of consultations that will help to define future LGBTQ programming at QMUNITY, BC’s queer resource centre. The event was designed by the Civic Engage program at SFU's Centre for Dialogue in partnership with QMUNITY, and was covered by both Daily XTRA and The Georgia Straight:

The Georgia Straight: Qmunity launches community consultations for new LGBT centre

“Perhaps 31 years ago, people needed to be discreet about entering queer resource centre. Not so today," says Qmunity executive director Dara Parker.

"Now we want to be loud and proud and accessible in every sense of the word," she said. "So we want to be front-facing, in your face, celebrating our incredible communities."

Parker addressed a room full of 120 people attending the first Building Qmunity consultation dialogue session at the SFU Segal Building today (May 27). The session kicks off a series of community dialogues designed to get feedback about how to shape the future programming and services at Qmunity's new facility.

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Daily XTRA: Qmunity consultation on new centre hears inclusivity top priority

“This was a very deliberate design process,” Parker tells Daily Xtra. “We spent over a year designing this process. And we hired an external facilitator to do it.”

This external facilitator is the SFU Centre for Dialogue, which Parker says brings “neutrality, transparency, and also additional capacity” to the consultation on Qmunity’s future space.

Mark Winston, a professor and senior fellow at the Centre for Dialogue, says that diversity within the LGBT community can make inclusion challenging and only underscores the need for a thorough consultative process.

“We want to get this right and we want to really make sure that nobody feels like they’re left outside the tent,” he says.

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Daily XTRA: Qmunity centre consultation seems transparent and sincere

“We are very invested in having this be a hub for the entire LGBTQ community,” executive director Dara Parker told the nearly 120 people who joined Qmunity for a full day of discussions on community priorities and values.

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