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Kingston Speaks Inclusion community survey underway

The Kingston Speaks Inclusion (KSI) team at Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC) has been busy since their initial project launch in July 2021. The organization is collecting feedback on how Kingston Police can increase equity, diversity, inclusion, indigenization, and accessibility (EDIIA) throughout their organization through a community survey.

The KCHC Kingston Speaks Inclusion Team. Image via KCHC website.

‘Kingston Speaks Inclusion: Community Consultations Hosted by Kingston Police & Kingston Community Health Centres,’ is a unique partnership between the Kingston Police and KCHC. According to the KSI website, the project is partially funded by the Kingston Police, but the partnership is arms-length: the Kingston Police will not be involved in the collection of data or the consultation process.

After months of preparation and research – seeking input from key community agencies and groups, building data collection tools, and planning ways to bring people together to share stories and experiences in the midst of ever-changing public health guidelines around gatherings – KSI has launched its online survey and is booking focus groups and interviews in and around the Kingston community, according to a release from KCHC.

From the start, the team felt it was crucial to provide safe and accessible spaces for people to share their honest and thorough thoughts, experiences, and stories about policing in Kingston, according to KCHC. As such, the team working on the data collection and analysis are all staff members of KCHC, specifically hired for the Kingston Speaks Inclusion project.

“It is crucial,” said Wendy Vuyk, Director of Community Health at KCHC, “that the consultations encourage many diverse opinions and experiences.” To ensure easy access to the consultation process, Vuyk said that “we can connect with people in several different ways – via a link to an online survey which takes about 15-20 minutes; by hosting focus groups in a variety of possible locations (including virtually); or by conducting one-on-one or small group interviews as requested.”

According to a media release, the goal of the project is to reach at least 500 participants and to hear people’s stories and input as to how Kingston Police can improve their approach to EDIIA within their organization and in their relationships with the community.

“Once the consultation process is complete,” said Giselle Valarezo, KSI Researcher, “the data will be compiled, analyzed, anonymized and placed into the final report that KSI will present in June.”

According to the release, the KSI team has been committed from day one to ensuring that the report is not the end of this process, and will ensure that they have ongoing representation on the Kingston Police Community Inclusion Council, which will be created and shaped based on the recommendations of the final KSI report.

Roger Romero, KSI Project Lead, said this ensures “an ongoing dialogue, and we will stay at the table to ensure the report’s recommendations are acted upon, and to keep our community up to date.”

For more information, including the link to the survey, visit https://kchc.ca/weller-avenue/ksi/

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