Anti-Oppressive Practice

We understand the presence and harm of systemic forms of oppression. We will work consciously and actively to reduce systemic oppression in our practices, learning from our mistakes. We are committed to collaborating with each other and the community to create a more just world.

Anti-Oppressive Practice Framework

Heartwood Healing Centre understands anti-oppression to be recognition of inequitable and unjust power imbalances in our social contexts and larger structural systems. Anti-oppression is an action word and we commit ourselves to actively working to equalize power differences. We recognize anti-oppression as an approach through which we aim to always work and which is engrained in everything we do.

In 2020, Heartwood Healing Centre developed an Anti-Oppressive Practice (AOP) Committee. The purpose of this committee is to work towards organizational alignment with values that challenge entrenched power structures and equity for people of all identities within our organization.

In 2021, the AOP Committee developed an Anti-Oppressive Framework identifying four (4) areas of focus to guide us in becoming accessible, inclusive, and a safe(r) space moving forward.

  1. Communication & Engagement – developing formal and informal partnerships with organizations in our community that serve equity seeking groups.
  2. Education & Accountability – assessing the culture of our organization and providing opportunities to Board and staff for self-reflection, learning, and unlearning. 
  3. Policy & Procedures – auditing and revising our governance and operational policies to ensure they reflect anti-oppressive principles.  This includes an exploration of different organizational structures and decision-making models. 
  4. Clinical Model & Service Delivery – ensuring our services are accessible to diverse groups and incorporating different worldviews and the intersectionality of oppression in trauma recovery into our clinical model.   

The AOP Committee has developed an action plan to push change forward and hold the organization accountable. We strive to do this work in a relational way. Updates on our progress will be shared in our quarterly newsletter. 


Anti-Oppressive Practice Committee Public Report

Please take a look at our report for the years 2021, 2022, and 2023 to see what the Anti-Oppressive Practice Committee has been doing.