Liz Lougheed Green, CEO, Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia(ANHBC).
Where do you work and what is your title?
I work for the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia (ANHBC) in Vancouver Canada. I am the CEO but I’m uncomfortable with the title and prefer to think of myself as steward of our leadership. ANHBC is the umbrella organization for a network of eight neighbourhood houses and an outdoor centre, through which we operate more than 300 community-based programs and services for a diversity of participants. We have 550 staff, 15,000 volunteers and 100,000 participants working shoulder-to-shoulder to co-create the communities they live in. Some of our programs include child care, housing, settlement and newcomer services, senior’s, youth and families and many, many others. We are grateful to do our work on the traditional, ancestral and stolen territories of the Coast Salish people of Canada and we are guided by their stewardship in all that we do.
Briefly summarize your background.
I grew up in Northern Queensland in Australia and left home at a very early age to pursue a career in dance. That took me to the eastern United States until my early 20’s. I moved to Canada for a temporary work opportunity and eventually enrolled at the University of Victoria in on Vancouver Island. I worked in youth transition homes and in systemic advocacy while putting myself through my undergrad in Child and Youth Care and a Multidisciplinary Master’s in Social Policy.
I eventually became the Executive Director of a start-up, community economic development-focused social enterprise in the most disenfranchised community in Canada. I have been privileged to have opportunities to work in a variety of democratically-focused institutions in both the private (credit unions) and not-for-profit sector doing social justice work. I have also had the opportunity to teach as a sessional instructor at the post-secondary level and to contribute to a number of Boards. In my private life, I’m Mom to 2 brilliant neuro-diverse children who’ve taught me so many transferrable lessons about how we truly make space for everyone in our communities.
Describe what you do for ANHBC.
I’m responsible for leading and managing the operations and ensuring the sustainability of ANHBC. I also assist the Board of Directors of ANHBC in setting strategy and vision, in building a positive culture, and in ensuring the financial health of the organization. In addition, I provide overall leadership for the team of executive leaders that oversee our neighbourhood houses, camps and organizational operations and programs, and partnerships.
What are your hopes for the future of the IFS and the Settlement Movement in general?
We are committed to IFS because we value the opportunity for collective action. With a strong network around the globe, we bring a big voice for social justice and human rights that can be instrumental in addressing things like the UN Sustainable Development Goals systemically. That means locally and internationally.
We also see IFS as a place to learn from those doing similar work in a variety of contexts and to test those lessons – where relevant – in our own work locally.