Use an anti-oppressive lens to think about the design and content of your public engagement interventions. Using an anti-oppressive lens means acknowledging differences in power and privilege and working to understand how those differences shape our ideas and relationships. Practitioners might consider gender, race, class, mental and physical ability, sexual orientation and other aspects of identity in the design and content of their public engagement efforts.

The Canadian Council for Refugees uses the following definitions:

Discrimination is the treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit and that can be used to privilege (special treatment in favour of) as well as disadvantage (special treatment against) a particular group or individual.

Oppression is the use of power or privilege by a socially, politically, economically, culturally dominant group (or groups) to disempower (take away or reduce power), marginalize, silence or otherwise subordinate one social group or category.

Systemic Oppression consists of practices, policies, laws and standards that disadvantage a particular group or category of people.

Individual Oppression is demeaning and oppressive behaviour towards and treatment of a particular group or category of people, expressed through individual attitudes, beliefs and values.

Anti-Oppression is the work of actively challenging and removing oppression perpetuated by power inequalities in society, both systemic oppression and individual expressions of oppression.

Further resources: