The Regional Diversity Roundtable Newsletter: March 2016
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In this Issue:
  • RDR is Hiring!
  • Evaluation Survey
  • Charter Resources
Get Involved
Become an RDR Member

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A Thought From RDR...

Digging Deeper and Across Difference on March 8th

In her 1981 keynote address at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, black queer feminist Audre Lorde famously stated ”I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own” (Lorde, 1981). It is Lorde’s frank assertion of difference and collective organizing that pushes us to interrogate if women have arrived in 2016, which women have arrived, and the need to address the gaps collectively

While gender is a salient organizing principle of our communities, it is not the only category that impacts the political, social and economic framing of women. Particular global, national and local histories, narratives, and privileges - supported by key institutions - have shaped which women have arrived in 2016. Women's issues manifest differently for diverse women. 

2015-2016 statistical data provides a contrasting picture of lived realities. On the one hand women as a larger group have made considerable gains compared to their predecessors a decade ago. On the other hand, when we begin to disaggregate the data, some women have been left behind. For example, in the Public Sector, 39.2% of the senior leadership consists of non-visible minority women compared to an abysmal 6.8% representation of visible minority women. 

With this context in mind, how do we create change for all women when engaging in equity and inclusion work? In other words, how do we embed Lorde’s words in our everyday actions?

It begins with surveying the state of our communities, organizations, and cities/regions:
  • What data is being collected?
  • Which communities are we engaging?
  • What type of research is taking place?
  • What and whose experiences are being captured and reported?

It involves interrogating how we do the work:
  • What type of frameworks are we operating from?
  • What are our biases?
  • What kind of approaches and strategies are we using?
  • What are their results?

It necessitates organizing across differences (identities, sectors, communities) for widespread and sustainable change:
  • How do we engage men and boys across racial and ethno-cultural communities?
  • What is the role of faith leaders?
  • How can sectors ‘build the pipeline’ for all women together?

This dialogue is ever evolving and ongoing. However, the key is to keep moving forward in moments of apathy, extending the work beyond March 8th, and digging deeper than hashtags and posters. 

This March we created a resource guide consisting of recent reports, research, news articles, and tools relevant to current women's issues. This resource list is not meant to be exhaustive but rather to function as an evolving guide. It (1) provides statistics, data and research emerging in the past year nationally, provincially and locally, (2) highlights the current dialogue around gender politics in the media, and (3) defines relevant analytical frameworks that recognize intersectional identities. It is critical to engage and learn from all three types of resources as each plays a role in shaping the way in which we recognize, understand and further include intersectional female identities in our societies.

Resource Guide for Centering Women in DEI Work (March 2016)
If you are unable to access the links, please connect with the RDR coordinator for soft copies.
-The Regional Diversity Roundtable

RDR News

RDR is Hiring!

For more information, please access the job posting on our website: RDR Program Manager Position

Participate in RDR's Evaluation Survey

McGuire Associates has been engaged to conduct an evaluation of the RDR initiatives funded through Ontario Trillium Foundation. The evaluation will explore the relevance of the initiative to RDR and OTF, the extent to which the initiative was implemented as planned, and the achievements of the initiatives, looking at contributing and detracting factors. Martha McGuire will be the only person with access to the responses so the information you provide will be kept confidential.

The survey will be available through March 20, 2016.  I urge you to complete the survey as it will not only help us keep our commitment to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, it will also help us make improvements to the work that we do.

If you have any questions about the survey please contact Martha McGuire at


Complete the Survey Now!

Diversity & Inclusion Charter of Peel

The D&I Charter of Peel Formally Ends Phase 2 with Signature Event of 2016


On February 26th, the Diversity & Inclusion Charter Initiative held its Signature Event of Phase 2 - Celebrating Success, Launching Resources and Looking Ahead. This event was held at the Garden Banquet and Convention Centre in Brampton and was attended by over 80 community members and organizational representatives from within Peel Region and beyond, including the project's funder and members of the collaboration partnership.

In addition to providing a space for community partners of The Regional Diversity Roundtable and D&I Charter endorsers to come together and celebrate the milestones of Phase 2, the event featured the launch of exciting new resources created by the Initiative over the last 18 months - notably, the DEI Organizational Self-Assessment Tool, the D&I Charter Backgrounder and Guidelines, and a Practice Brief Compilation. The Executive Summary of the project’s year-long evaluation was also presented and distributed to all attendees.

In addition to all of this, Celebrating Success featured a dynamic opening by members of the Credit River Métis Council, and a Keynote Address by the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Renu Mandhane, whose first time it was speaking in Peel in her new portfolio. The event concluded with a performance by Charmie Deller, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter whose songs speak to a number of themes that are consistent with the Charter’s vision and commitments. 

The Regional Diversity Roundtable and the D&I Charter of Peel Initiative says a big thank you to those who have supported the work of Phase 1 and Phase 2. As the project team gears up to transition into the next phase of the project, we are grateful to see so much commitment to the work of DEI in Peel!


Say Hello to the New D&I Charter Website!

The D&I Charter of Peel Initiative has a new website that is ready to be explored by Charter endorsers, community partners and community members alike. This website was created as an interactive community hub, and as a living textbook about the D&I Charter of Peel. It features background information about the initiative - our story, the Charter team, and our core principles - in addition to allowing easy access to both the English and French versions of the Charter, all of our capacity building materials, and any event/workshop material that might be useful to community members. We will  be regularly updating this website to offer our community the most recent information about Charter news, events and opportunities to get involved!

The new website can be accessed at If you have any feedback,  please feel free to get in touch with us directly, and/or leave your comments about our work on the website itself!

Introducing New Resources!

The DEI Organizational Self-Assessment Tool (SAT) 

Do you want a copy of the newly launched Diversity Equity and Inclusion Organizational Self-Assessment Tool (SAT)?

The SAT was designed to provide organizations with a framework by which to assess their various DEI journeys; it includes an action planning worksheet to turn dialogue into action!

If your organization is a member of the RDR and has not yet received a print copy, is requesting additional copies, or has questions about the tool please contact RDR's Project Lead Amrita Kumar-Ratta at or at 905-457-7288 Ext. 213.

If you are not a member of the RDR and/or have not endorsed the Charter but would like a copy of the SAT, you can download a copy here. For additional inquiries, please contact us.

To engage in conversation about the SAT on social media, use the following hashtags: #RDRSAT #EquityinPeel #DICharter #HowToDEI

The D&I Charter Backgrounder and Guidelines (2016)

This resource is an updated version of the Backgrounder and Guidelines booklet published in April 2013. It provides detailed background information around the Peel context, the Charter, its rationale and its benefits. This new version also provides more detailed guidelines for individuals as well as organizations endorsing and implementing the Charter. For those who were not able to attend our resource launch in February 2016, you can download this booklet here.

Practice Brief Compilation

Call for Writers - Insights, the D&I Charter's Community Blog

As mentioned last month, we are looking for writers for our new website! Are you interested in contributing to Insights - the D&I Charter of Peel's community blog? We are seeking individuals interested in writing 500-700 word reflective pieces around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and its connections to the Charter in Peel Region. For more information, please contact the D&I Charter Project Lead Amrita Kumar-Ratta at 


Resource Corner

Professional Development - Non-Profits and Co-ops as a Workplace Program
March 28-April 29, OISE (Ontario Institute Studies in Education)
Report - The Monitor
March 2016, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office

Report - Making Women Count: The Unequal Economics of Women's Work
March 2016, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Ontario Office

Report - Newcomer Youth Access to Recreation in Toronto: Relationships, Resources and Relevance
March 2016, Social Planning Council of Toronto


Toolkit - From Youth to You: A Toolkit for Migrant Youth
March 2016, FCJ Refugee Centre
Webinar - Women's Advancement
March 17, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

Webinar - Discrimination and Harassment
April 6 and 13, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion

Webinar - Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed
April 12, Ontario Human Rights Commission & Human Resources Professionals Association

Webinar - Board Members: AODA Overview and Compliance
March 10, Ontario Nonprofit Network - EnAbling Nonprofits Ontario


Workshop - How to Make Accessible Word & PDFs
March 21, Accessibility Ontario


Community Events

Event - All of Me...A Conversation
March 12, Peel District School Board & Office of MPP Harinder Malhi


Event - Holi Gala
April 1, William Osler Health System Foundation


Book Launch - The (Brown) Elephant in the Room By Gurwinder Gill
March 17


Call for Submissions - 2016 Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate
March 18, City of Mississauga


Event - Community Research Cafe 2016
April 15, Region of Peel & Peel Children & Youth Initiative


Training - Training for Policy on preventing discrimination based on creed
March 23, OHRC


Conference - Canada's LGBTQ Health Conference 2016

March 9-11 2016

Conference - Achieving the Vision of Health Equity

March 21, 2016


Course - Essential Skills Series

March 21-24, 2016

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The Regional Diversity Roundtable is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Region of Peel