Equitable and Inclusive Engagement Practice Statement

Kearns & West facilitates complex processes for public engagement, decision-making and impartial conflict resolution. Kearns & West is committed to ensuring our processes are inclusive, tailored and responsive to each situation. We build the capacity of clients and communities to acknowledge, understand, and address the implications of communities and backgrounds including race, culture, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and socio-economic status.

Equitable and inclusive processes are cognizant of societal inequities and actively strive to address them. In creating these processes, we are committed to ensuring decision-making, negotiations, community outreach and stakeholder engagement are tailored and accessible to those impacted and involved.

We are able to build equitable and inclusive processes and outcomes through our role as bridge-builders, our perspective from other communities and ability to amplify perspectives of others, and as reflective practitioners. As such, our approach is characterized by the following:

Equitable and Inclusive Processes | We are impartial on project outcomes and advocates for accessible and transparent participatory processes. We strive to develop processes that balance systemic inequities and are inclusive of those historically left out of public processes. We strive to support decision-making based on objective criteria and to acknowledge and break down bias. Our role as third parties allows us to build trust among those involved, facilitate complex processes, and identify community-based solutions. Learn more about Kearns & West’s principles and values of impartiality here.

Bridge-builders | We build bridges, forge agreements, build consensus and develop relationships among government agencies, community-based organizations, and the public. We do this through building shared knowledge and understanding across roles and levels of involvement; interpreting technical and legal processes to be accessible for local communities; and creating space for community knowledge and histories to be shared.

Perspective | We share perspectives and lessons learned to build holistic understanding of issues. We build processes where community members’ lived experiences are valued and they can amplify their voices.

Reflective and Responsive | We engage in continuous learning, listening and re-adjusting our role and processes.