The Regional Diversity Roundtable Newsletter
January 2017
In this Issue:
  • Ontario 150
  • New Members
  • Community Forum
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A Thought From RDR...

#Canada150: Diversifying the Dialogue

2017 marks 150 years of Canada’s confederation - on July 1, 1867 Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were unified under the Dominion of Canada[1]. All levels of government have earmarked funds for projects commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial, such as the local Canada150 community projects. In addition to providing free access to Parks Canada throughout 2017, an online campaign, #OnThisDay, highlighting significant events that have shaped Canadian society over the past 150 years has been launched as well. Canadian brands are also trying to capitalize on the 150th anniversary by creating campaigns that play on familiar ‘Canadian’ values of multiculturalism and community (Loblaws #EatTogether and RBC’s #Make150Count). Canada150 is not simply about marking Canada Day on July 1, as we have done in the past, it is about the defining, solidifying and (re)discovering of a cohesive national identity.
Over the past 150 years, Canada appears to have transitioned from a colonial outpost for competing empires into a model nation that promotes and celebrates multicultural and inclusion values, its social security programs, and progressive Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all. To many around the world, Canada is a successful model of the modern state whose national identity is built on the diversity of its people. This model and identity have become that much more potent and valuable against a backdrop of multiple global shifts in ideologies and values, particularly that of closed borders. However, as we celebrate our accomplishments as a nation, we must also critically examine our historical, current, and future narratives; Who is being celebrated and who is not? How is our history presented? Who is presenting it? Whose voices are silenced? Whose history is erased? and Who will have the opportunity to shape the future?
In reflecting on Canada’s milestone birthday, we must centre our relations with the Indigenous Communities. While Canada150 marks the formation of a sovereign state, it also marks the successful colonization of indigenous people and land. We must always recognize that while ‘Canada’, a state with defined borders, was established 150 years ago, the history of Indigenous people and their connection to the land had been established long before the arrival of European settlers. So when we talk about Canada150 what are we talking about really? When does our history begin and which parts of it do we take ownership over? How can we mark Canada150 while also recognizing what had already existed before? How can we honour and follow through with the Truth and Reconciliation movement in the context of Canada150?
We also want to reflect on the role that various immigrant and minority communities have played in shaping and building Canada, interrogating how Canada’s past, current, and future is being presented. Particularly, whose contributions are recognized and who will have the opportunity to shape the next 150 years. This requires us to acknowledge, as a nation, on the adverse lived experiences of marginalized communities and the way in which Canada’s history has shaped those experiences; we should not disregard or ignore the painful parts of our history. It also requires us to take action to institutionalize diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice values in all aspects of Canada, to ensure we are not having the same conversations around race, gender, immigration, and poverty in the next 150 years.  
In thinking about these questions, RDR created a Canada150 project titled Peel150: Celebrating and Empowering Diverse Communities. Our objective is to connect national and provincial celebrations of Canada150 to our local Peel community by exploring what Canada150 may mean to Peel’s diverse communities.
The first part of this project focuses on collecting and documenting the contribution of diverse communities to the growth and development of Peel Region over the past 150 years in the form of multimedia and written vignettes. RDR will seek stories from organizations and community members through a variety of methods, including multimedia, art, photographs, short essays and/or interviews. The second part of this project involves developing and launching a one-day symposium to provide the Peel community with space and opportunity to critically think about historical narratives and envision what kind of future they imagine for Peel over the next 150 years. The symposium will include dedicated time for dialogue across attendees and keynote speakers.
The project aims to highlight a diverse historical, current, and future narrative of Peel Region to inspire communities to work together to create a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive region. Moreover, to ensure that celebrations of Canada150 include stories from diverse communities.
We are pleased to announce that we have received funding to begin our project. The Community Foundation of Mississauga through their Canada150 stream has provided funding to collect and document stories in Mississauga while the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport through their Ontario150 Community Celebration program has provided funding to develop and launch our symposium. For more information about this project and how to get involved please connect with RDR.
We are excited to being this work and hope to open up as well as diversify the dialogue around Canada150 with our project by working with community members and organizations across Peel Region.
-The Regional Diversity Roundtable

RDR News

Here We Grow Again!

RDR welcomes Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin, Learning Disabilities Association of Peel, and Peel HIV Aids Network to the roundtable. While at different points in their DEI journeys, leaders from all three organizations are committed to institutionalizing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organizations. We look forward to not only learn from them but also to engage them with RDR work to build our collective impact in the region.

The RDR membership currently stands at 45 organizations across the human services sector in Peel region.

January Member Meeting

This month we concluded our Fall learning series with a learning component on Handling Challenges to DEI Organizational Policies. Lead by inclusion consultant Annemarie Shrouder, the group of 17 organizations through a workshop highlighting the importance of circles of safety within organizations as building blocks for developing and implementing policy. 

Tough Questions Cafe 


On Thursday January 27, 2017 we held our Tough Questions Cafe titled Poverty in Peel: Is it Effectively Addressed for All?. Over 70 people attended from Peel Region spanning sectors, communities, and opinions. While our speakers presented perspectives on poverty from three different areas (marginalized youth, food insecurity, lived experience), our attendees engaged in a robust dialogue with our moderator Adaoma Patterson around what next steps communities and individuals can take to eradicate poverty. The emerging theme was that of connecting to one another to mobilize. Stay tuned for more insights as we plan what is the best way to continue this conversation. 

More information about out speakers and resources for this Tough Questions Cafe can be found on our website.

Diversity & Inclusion Charter of Peel

2016 Highlights 


RFP - Curriculum Developer for Diversity & Inclusion Charter of Peel Community Engagement and Leadership Initiative

Are you or anyone you know passionate about leadership in diverse communities? We have an opportunity! The deadline to submit proposals is February 6. Please click here for the RFP posting

What's in Store for 2017?

  • Our third and final round of community consultations will take place in March 2017. During these sessions, we will explore strategies that particular communities can use to engage in community development initiatives in effort to contribute to a stronger and more inclusive region. We encourage all interested community members to participate. More information to come soon!
  • We will be holding a community forum in early 2017! At this event, we will provide a project update and report on key learnings from our community consultations. We will also lead a conversation around strategies for collaboratively fostering grassroots leadership around the vision and commitments of the D&I Charter.  If you have been involved with the project in any capacity since its inception in 2013, we invite you to be a part of this conversation! Details to come soon. 

If you would like to get in touch with us for more information regarding how you can be engaged in the project in 2017, contact our Community Outreach Coordinator Anam Ansari.  Looking for more information about the D&I Charter of Peel Initiative? Please contact our Project Lead Amrita Kumar-Ratta.

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

We are looking for writers for our 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.

Resource Corner

Census - Release and concepts overview 2016 Census of Population: Population and dwelling counts release
January 2017, University of Toronto

Report - Do Large Employers Treat Racial minorities More Fairly? A New Analysis of Canadian Field Experiment Data
January 2017, University of Toronto

Hub - Refugee Research Hub
January 2017, Access Alliance

Segment - Black PhD students call out inequity in Canadian academia
January 2017, The Current 

Segment - The Cost of Racism in Canada
January 2017, Bloomberg

Report - Game On: Sport Participation as a Vehicle for Positive Development for Youth Facing Barriers
January 2017, YouthREX

Report - Workplace Diversity 2020
January 2017, Turner Consulting Group

Report - Throwing Money at the Problem: 10 years of Executive Compensation
January 2017, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Summary - Six Degrees Citizen Space 2016: The Summary Report
January 2017, 6 Degrees Citizen 

Report - Youth Homelessness in Peel: Recommendations for a Comprehensive and Integrated Prevention Focused Approach
December 2016, PCYI

Academic Article - An Introduction to Anti-Black Sanism
December 2016, Intersectionalities: A Global Journal of Social Work Analysis, Research, Polity, and Practice
Report - Working Together for Change: Strategies to Address Issues of Systemic Racism in the Legal Professions
December 2016, The Law Society of Upper Canada

Blog - Peel Counts' Racialized Data Strategy
December 2016, Peel Counts

Literature Review - Perceptions of the Social Determinants of Health Across Canada
December 2016, Wellesley Institute

Report - A Profile of Wellbeing in Ontario: North, West, East, and Central regions, and for the City of Toronto
December 2016, Ontario Trillium Foundation
Report - Working Without a Net: Rethinking Canada's social policy in the new age of work
December 2016, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Report - Child care for all of us: Universal Child care for Canadians by 2020
December 2016, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

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