Encouraging diversity and a culture of belonging, Community Awardee Jessie Sutherland continues to make an impact 

Photo: Jessie Sutherland, 2023 Community Award recipient

Community Award recipients demonstrate exceptional commitment to making their communities – and our province – healthier, happier and more hopeful. One such awardee is Jessie Sutherland of Richmond, BC who shares her passion, talent and time in the service of others. In 2023, Jessie was awarded a Community Award for the work she does as an international speaker, trainer, and consultant working with organizations and communities to encourage diversity, build belonging and ignite intercultural collaboration.  

Her approach creates sustainable community change that effectively addresses complex social problems. Jessie’s work has been delivered in over eight languages and has taken her across Canada and around the world to support communities in their efforts to address challenging issues including poverty, homelessness, the overdose crisis, elder abuse, reconciliation, youth engagement and more.  

As founder of the organization Intercultural Strategies, Jessie helps leaders and groups build cultures of belonging to create change in an inclusive and positive way. She is the innovator of the award-winning Belonging Matters Conversations series and capacity-building framework designed to change mindsets, deepen interconnections, impart greater social capital and build stronger communities.  

“A key ingredient for sustaining engagement in any community change initiative is the on-going practice of recognizing and celebrating people, talents and successes along the way. The BC Achievement Community Award models what we all can be doing more of – celebrating and recognizing the talents and contributions of people in our own communities who are doing incredible work. I see BC Achievement Community Award as an invitation for us all to be on the lookout for ways to celebrate each other in small and big ways,” says Jessie. 

Since receiving the award in 2023, Jessie has expanded the reach of her services and is now collaborating with Michael Quinn Patton (former president of the American Evaluation Society), to support organizations in building their teams’ capacity to measure and accelerate belonging in their unique contexts. This includes measuring the impact of their equity and inclusion initiatives so that they can learn what’s working and what needs improving. Jessie and Michael’s new online 6-week program, Measure & Accelerate Belonging, helps create a clear process that gives teams the information they need to access resources and supports to scale their change initiatives across departments and contexts. 

For information about Intercultural Strategies and the work Jessie is doing to support organizations to build genuine cultures of belonging, visit: www.interculturalstrategies.ca

Community Award recipients include everyone from ambitious students to established entrepreneurs. “The honourees show us how everyone can have a hand in building a stronger BC. Their stories are sure to inspire British Columbians across the province,” said BC Achievement Board Chair, Walter Pela. 

You can nominate deserving individuals for the Community Award on December 1 at bcachievement.com. Nomination forms are online and BC Achievement staff are available to answer your questions. Deadline to nominate is January 31, 2024

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.

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