Regional Diversity Roundtable Newsletter: December 2015
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In this Issue:
  • February Tough Questions Cafe
  • RDR Capacity Building
  • Resource Corner
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A Thought From RDR...

End of Year Reflections: Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016
As our board members as well as staff, RDR membership, and community partners within Peel and beyond will attest to, 2015 has been year of positive growth and change for the Regional Diversity Roundtable. 

Our many events this year - Centring Diversity for Workplace Equity: Tools For Change Conference, Freedom of Speech Tough Questions CafeSystemic Oppression in Peel Tough Questions Cafe, D&I Charter Community Forums - not only had great turnouts but generated robust conversations around key community issues. We also partnered with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and United Way of Peel Region to host OHRC's Taking it Local: An Update on Human Rights event where our Peel community had an opportunity to engage with code policies as well as Peel specific human rights issues.

We also successfully launched our first ever 3-part webinar series DEI 100 and D&I Charter's DEI 200. Individuals across the GTA engaged in diversity, equity and inclusion learning and dialogues with speakers presenting promising practices.

Continuing with our other regular RDR capacity building initiatives, we released our annual Journal of Promising Practices of Diversity and Equity, a brand new Practice Brief 2.1: Equity Frameworks, and held multiple learning component workshops on current DEI issues for our growing RDR membership. Presentation, advisory and training requests continue to pour in as we expand and deepen our diversity, equity and inclusion work. 

Moreover, Phase 2 of the D&I Charter flourished this past year with greater engagement across community members and organizations/institutions in Peel and beyond. The Charter Initiative held five community forums, all attracting a number of community members and organizational representatives from across the Region. It also delivered a number of informational presentations and made deputations to all three cities in the Region. The project team engaged in the collaborative development of a DEI Organizational Self-Assessment Tool in effort to create conversation and guide organizations on their various DEI journeys; and it launched its three-part 'Implementing the Charter' webinar series. The Initiative also launched Practice Brief 1.1: Creating Safer Spaces and Practice Brief 1.2: Supporting Inclusive Leaders and Change Champions around the implementation of D&I Charter commitments.   

We recognize that building an organization is an ongoing process. As our 3-year OTF grant and Phase 2 of the Charter come to a close, the RDR board has worked tirelessly to put together a sustainability plan that will allow us to continue to build on the momentum from this past year. We are all excited for the future of RDR!

We thank everyone who has been part of RDR this past year and have helped us grow and change. With our committed staff, the guidance of our experts on the board and support of our member organizations as well as community partners, we are looking forward to furthering diversity, equity and inclusion work in Peel Region.

Happy Holidays!

-The Regional Diversity Roundtable


RDR News

Community Connections!

In these past couple of months we had the pleasure of attending multiple community events in Peel Region and beyond. We are delighted to support the great work and highlight the learnings to our broader communities.

The Peel Newcomer Strategy Group launched it's Collective Impact Report 2014-2015 and Online Newcomer Profile Tool in October. While the Collective Impact Report details Peel's immigrant population and the importance of utilizing a Collective Impact approach, the online tool provides current newcomer specific data and mapping of services. The tool can be accessed here!

In December, United Way of Peel Region (UWPR) held a Community Meeting: Syrian Refugee Crisis, bringing together the non-profit, public and social service sector across Peel Region. The community event facilitated conversations within various fields on how existing programs/services can be leveraged to aid the newcomers as well as what gaps still persist. The Region of Peel and UWPR also provided an update on how the region is preparing for the arrival of Syrian refugees. Peel Region is working together to welcome it's 500 newcomers. Interested in becoming involved? Check out the links below!

SPARKOntario: Volunteer Recruitment Website for Refugee-related Volunteer Opportunities

More Support on the Way for Service Providers

New Website for Syrian Refugees Assistance Information

Also this December, we attended the provincial launch of the Ontario Human Rights Commission's (OHRC) Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed. This policy replaces their 1996 Policy on creed and the accommodation of religious observances. The policy was created through a rigorous research and consultation process with over 2000 groups and individuals. It is comprehensive and utilizes an inclusive design strategy to address the complex diversity of Ontario's population. What's new in this policy? It expands the definition of creed and includes a new section on Indigenous Spirituality. 
Tough Questions Cafe - Systemic Oppression in Peel: Perception or Reality?

Thank you to everyone who attended our Tough Questions Cafe in November! Titled Systemic Oppression in Peel: Perception or Reality?, we had over 85 people attend, engage in conversation and share their experiences with each other as well as our panelists. Jim Grieve, Executive Director of the Retired Teachers of Ontario spoke from the perspective of working within systems to create change, Rima Berns-McGown, Professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga provided insights from an academic and research perspective, and Anu Radha Verma, local community member highlighted both personal and professional experiences of growing up and working in Peel region. Many dubbed the Cafe dialogue as simply the beginning of the complex and layered issues at hand. To access the resources from the event please visit our website:

Jim Grieve PPT

Developing a Welcome-the-World Mindset Handout

Growing Your learning Resource List - For copies of the articles please connect with our Project Coordinator

Tough Questions Cafe - It's 2015: Which Women Have Arrived?
February 3, 2016 | 5:30pm - 8:30pm | Peel District School Board Mississauga (Mississauga Room)
#ToughQuestions #WhichWomen #Its2015

Over the last 25 years, women in Canada have made considerable gains in various aspects of their lives: abortion laws were struck down long ago (1988), according to 2014 statistics women make up 62% of university graduates and 47% of the labour force[1], and in 2015 we saw the largest increase in the number of women directors of Canada’s 500 largest companies (19.5%)[2]. Moreover, this year our federal government committed to gender equity by ensuring gender parity in cabinet. While the glass ceiling is being shattered, other national realities force us to ask if all women are even in the building? Marginalized women experience violence, poverty, hate crimes and housing insecurity at higher rates and have lower rates of graduation as well as labour market participation[3]. Currently, of the 4.5 million Canadians living in poverty 36% are aboriginal women, 35% visible minority women, 21% are single mothers and 14% are older women[4], according to 2006 data immigrant women earned an average of $6.60 per hour less than non-immigrant men[5] and 60% of women with disabilities experience some form of violence[6].
In this Tough Questions Cafe explore with us the following questions: 
  • Which women have arrived in 2015? Why is this a relevant question in today’s global, national and regional climate?
  • In addressing diversity amoung women and their struggles, are we pitting women against each other? Can we build solidarity across struggles?
  • Does a ‘one size fits all’ approach advance rights for all women? What other strategies/approaches can we employ? 
  • What is the role of men in this conversation?

Expert panellists will present various perspectives on the issue while the audience will be given an opportunity to openly engage in dialogue with each other and the panellists. Join the conversation and challenge your understandings!

We will be providing a light supper. This event is freeopen to the public and accessible. Registration is required. When registering please specify accessibility needs and/or dietary restrictions

For more information please contact:
Pamela Uppal
905-457-7288 x258
[1] The Economic leadership and Prosperity of Canadian Women, Report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women April 2015
[2] Women, Minorities making gains on Canadian corporate boards: report, The Globe and Mail November 2015
[3] Women and Girls in Canada: Presentation to the Social Trends, Policies and Intuitions Deputy Ministers’ Policy Committee, Status of Women Canada, February 2015
[4] Fact Sheet Moving Women out of Poverty, Canadian Women’s Foundation 2013
[5] Closing the Gender Wage Gap: A Background Paper, Ministry of Labour October 2015
[6] The Facts About Violence Against Women, Canadian Women’s Foundation
Register Now!

Capacity Building

In the new year we will be releasing our annual Journal of Promising Practices on Diversity and Equity, a number of white papers and practice briefs. Also, watch out for our next webinar DEI 102: How to Build a DEI Infrastructure

Here We Grow Again...

We are delighted to welcome our newest RDR member: PCAWA (Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse). Founded in 1984, it consists of individuals representing various agencies in Peel Region. Their mandate is to promote a comprehensive and effective response to woman abuse in Peel. We look forward to having them at the roundtable!

If you are interested in becoming a member of the roundtable please visit our website for more information.

Diversity & Inclusion Charter of Peel

Building the Charter Community
In the last few months, we’ve been involved in a great deal of community engagement work.  In October, we attended the Halton Equity Diversity Roundtable (HEDR)’s 2nd annual conference titled, “Unlearning in order to Learn: Creating Vibrant Organizations within Communities.” This was a wonderful opportunity to hear about the DEI journey in Halton, to connect with our networks beyond Peel, and to apply some of the learning to the Charter’s growth and development as a regional initiative.
On October 14th, we also held our 5th community forum on “Connecting with the D&I Charter’s Theory of Change. We received a number of new participants, in addition to those that have continued to stay involved in the project, and had a great dialogue about the role that Peel organizations play in driving systemic change on DEI forward in the region. Materials from the forum can be found here.

This Fall, we also made deputations to the City of Mississauga's General Council and its Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, and to the City of Brampton's Corporate Services Committee. We are hoping that in the New Year, we will see our cities moving forward on endorsing the D&I Charter of Peel. 

Mark your calendars! In February 2015 we will be bringing Phase 2 of the D&I Charter of Peel Initiative to an end and looking forward to the Initiative's next steps in our 6th community forum. This event will also feature the formal launch of our DEI Organizational Self-Assessment Tool and our brand new D&I Charter Website! We will provide more details about this event in January.

We wish to thank everyone who has been involved in building the Charter community in Fall 2015 - whether it be through attending our events, inquiring about resources, participating in our project evaluation, and following us on social media. Please keep involved as the year ends and 2016 begins! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Supporting Implementation

In November, we launched the second webinar of our three-part 'Implementing the Charter' Series, titled "Creating Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces". We also released two Practice Briefs:

D&I Charter Practice Brief 1.2: Supporting Inclusive Leaders and Change Champions

D&I Charter Practice Brief 2.2: Creating Equitable and Inclusive Workplaces

We are looking forward to culminating the series with our final webinar in the New Year, DEI 203: Recognizing and Supporting Diverse Neighbourhoods and Communities. Watch out for it! 

We appreciate the community's patience as we continue to work on releasing our Self-Assessment Tool;  we assure you that you won't be left disappointed! In January we will be making the tool available on our website and through our membership and will be formally launching it at February's community forum. Please don't hesitate to contact us if there are any questions as we gear up to put the tool out into the community. 

We've got 2 more practice briefs on the Charter commitments coming your way in the New Year as well. Make sure to look out for them!

Partnerships and Recognition

We thank our wonderful Steering Committee Members - Brampton Library, Credit River Métis Council, Peel District School Board, Peel Multicultural Council, and William Osler Health System - for continuing to support the work of the Charter both as collaborators on the project and as organizations who are themselves engaged in the DEI journey. We are looking forward to what 2016 brings for this partnership!

Furthermore, we encourage Charter endorsers to continue to do great work within their sectors and within their communities. Collaborative partnerships are the way to ensure systemic transformation around DEI in Peel Region!  

Resource Corner

Webinar - Opening Doors for Abused Women
January 2016, Rexdale Women's Centre

Resource Hub - Bridging Diversity: Building a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion


Podcast - Voices from the Frontline: Self-Care
October 2015, YouthRex

Workshop - Critical Youth Work: Bridging Theory and Practice
October 2015, Wellesley Institute
November 2015, Wellesley Institute
Report - Raising the Bar: Revisiting the Benchmark Question for Ontario's Minimum Wage
October 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office

Infographic - 5 Lessons from Ontario's first poverty reduction strategy
December 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office
RFP - Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment in Ontario
December 15, 2015 

RFP - Ontario Trillium Foundation - Seed and Capital Grants
Registration Deadline: November 16, 2015 
Application Deadline: January 6, 2016 

RFP - Ontario Trillium Foundation - Collective Impact Grants


RFP - Innovation Fund
December 30, 2015


RFP - Indigenous Health Conference
January 15, 2016


Community Events

Exhibits - Mississauga Museums 

October 3 - January 17, 2016 | Benares Historic House


Workshop - Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO) Workshops

Fall-Winter 2015-2016

Conference - Canada's LGBTQ Health Conference 2016

March 9-11 2016

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The Regional Diversity Roundtable is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation