Regional Diversity Roundtable Newsletter: March 2015
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  • RDR News
  • DI Charter 
  • Resources 
  • Events
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A Thought from RDR 

International Women’s Day, first observed in 1909, is an opportunity for us to celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements as well as to show our appreciation for the strong women in our lives who have helped us grow into the individuals we are today. As is the case with many equity struggles, in 2015 we are at a critical crossroads: while women have moved well beyond gaining voting rights, rape culture and intimate partner violence are normalized in all communities; universal childcare and pay equity are policy battles we are still fighting; and women’s political leadership is still not where we would like it to be.

More importantly, within these conversations and in celebration of International Women’s Day, too often we forget the diversity among women: trans women, aboriginal women, women of colour, immigrant women, disabled women, queer women, elderly women, poor and homeless women, occupied women, undocumented women, women in prisons, women who are sex workers, women who are single parents, women who are more than one of the above. In Canada, Aboriginal women only received the right to vote in 1967. Currently the House of Commons is close to passing a bill that pits gender against culture in specific cultural and religious communities.

For this reason, RDR challenges you to ask yourself, your families, and your communities the tough questions: Has the way in which we think about women and femininity changed in the last 100 years? Which women are centered in our women’s day celebrations, in policy battles and social movements? In which way is sexism institutionalized and made invisible in our communities?

In this spirit, take a moment this month to; (1) visit the many amazing events being held in Peel Region in honour of International Women’s Day and (2) to acknowledge the women in your personal and professional lives. As time goes on, maybe we can all envision a brighter and more hopeful future for women in Peel, across Canada and internationally.
-The Regional Diversity Roundtable


RDR News

Journal of Promising Practices on Diversity and Equity
Journal of Promising Practices on Diversity and Equity
Our second annual Journal is composed of fascinating articles
written by academics and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

champions across the GTA. The articles touch on issues of anti-racism and diversity lexicon, unconscious
biases, analysis of existing DEI
strategic plans and assessment tools, policy changes on the 'Canadian 

Experience' barrier and the struggles
of international 
students acquiring Canadian citizenship.

All five authors explore, challenge and provide thoughtful insight into the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion work in our Region. We will be launching the journal in the coming weeks.

Tough Questions Cafe 2015 - Save The Date
Freedom of Speech or Freedom to Offend: What Can We Say/Publish in a Multicultural Context?

April 16, 2015 | 11:30am - 1:30pm | Council Chambers, PAMA, 9 Wellington St. East, Brampton ON

The Regional Diversity Roundtable and PAMA invite you to an engaging Tough Questions Café titled Freedom of Speech or Freedom to Offend: What Can We Say/Publish in a Multicultural Context? Our panelists will address and discuss the following questions; (1) Does the notion of freedom of speech/expression conflict with and/or support diversity, equity and inclusion mandates? (2) In the context of freedom of speech/expression, do we perpetuate culturally and religiously offensive martierals, articles and cartoons? and (3) In defending freedom of speech/expression, are we promoting and/or endorsing offensive content while marginalizing communities? This engaging dialogue will present arguments from both ends of the spectrum, challenging the audience to shift their understandings. This is a free event open to the public. Join us and be part of the conversation! 
  Central Peel Secondary School (CPSS) Equity & Diversity Conference

RDR will be connecting with Youth this month at the CPSS Equity & Diversity Conference. We will be facilitating a workshop on DEI issues youth face in today's context by leading students through critical thinking activities and introducing the DI Charter.

Thank you for the opportunity CPSS!


Diversity & Inclusion Charter of Peel

This month has been extremely busy for the D&I Charter of Peel. We have been working with Taylor Newberry Consulting (TNC) to develop important assessment tools which will be useful for organizational and individual endorsers. We are also working with TNC to conduct a comprehensive third-party evaluation of the Initiative.

This month we have also completed our selection process for the Charter’s Web Development and are pleased to announce that Traction Control – a boutique web design and development firm – will be leading the development of the D&I Charter’s very own website! With a dynamic design philosophy, well-rounded experience and a great portfolio, we are excited to see what is in store for us over the next few weeks!

In the next week, we will have more details about our upcoming community forum, where we will launch our new website, provide an opportunity for endorsers to give feedback on the assessment tool and advise our team on other supports needed to implement the Charter. Stay tuned for this!


Resource Corner

Report - It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment

March 2015, Government of Ontario

Directory - PCAWA Peel Region Community Resources

Report - Peel Femicide List 2014 

February 2015, Peel Committee Against Woman Abuse


Report - Review of Reports and Recommendations on Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada

February 2015, Legal Strategy Coalition on Violence Against Indigenous Women


Report - Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected           

February 2015, Kimberle Crenshaw, Jyoti Nanda, Priscilla Ocen, Centre for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies, African American Policy Forum


Report - Surveying the Facts About Primary Care: Findings from the Health Care Experience Survey: Primary Care Access by Immigrant Populations

January 2015, Health Analytics Branch, Health System Information Management and Investment Division, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care


Report - First Peoples, Second Class Treatment: The Role of Racism in the Health and Well-Being of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

February 2015, Wellesley Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, Well Living House


January 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Ontario Office


December 2014, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion


Community Events

Petition - Federal Election Debate on Women's Issues

Women were the majority of voters in the last federal election. Yet, the last time federal party leaders publicly debated the issues that specifically affect women and girls in an election campaign was over 30 years ago. Up for Debate is circulating a petition asking Party Leaders to commit to participating in nationally broadcast debate focused specifically on women and girls during the 2015 federal election campaign.

Sign the Petition

Learn more about Up For Debate


Lecture - Olivia Chow: Affordable Childcare: Why Not Now?

March 10, 2015 | 2:30pm - 3:30pm | Senate Chamber Ross N940, York University

Olivia Chow will explore what public policy and political action are needed to establish a national affordable childcare program. 



Panel - Perspectives on Human Rights and Migration

March 10, 2015 |1:00pm - 3:00pm | 626 Kaneff Tower, York University

Featuring: Nergis Canefe (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science), Geraldine Sadoway (Barrister and Solicitor; Adjunct Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School; Supervising lawyer and clinical law instructor, Parkdale Community Legal Services), Nancy Nicol (Associate Professor, Department of Visual Arts) & Nick Mulé (Associate Professor, School of Social Work). 

Panel - Economic Migration: Questions of Work, Identity and Integration

March 17, 2015 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm | 280A York Lanes, York University 


Globalization, Paradox and the (un)Making of Identities: Immigrant Chartered Accountants of India in Canada

Decentralization of Selection of Economic Immigrants: The Case of Provincial Nominee Programs

Temporary Migrants and the Agency Data on Migration Polit PRoject (ADMIG)

Coping with Migrant Integration: Professional Identity and Social Capital as Migrant Liabilities?


Documentry Screening - Journey to Find Myself Again: Experiences of South Asian Immigrant Women in the Canadian Labour Market

March 18, 2015 |4:30pm - 6:30pm | Curtis Lecture Hall Room C, York University

Producers: Srabani Maitra & Tania Das Gupta, York University 

 “Journey to Find Myself Again” is a short documentary film that presents the employment trajectories of three highly educated immigrant women from South Asia, one of the largest sources of new immigrants in Canada today. Looking at the Canadian labour market from their perspective(s) and through a race/gender/class lens, the documentary thus aims to present how the complex interplay of racial and gendered processes affect immigrant women’s employment trajectories and produce complex relations of domination and subordination.


Workshop - Diversity & Cultural Competency for Professionals Working with and for Individuals 55+

March 19, 2015 |12:00pm - 4:00pm | McMAster University, Student Centre (MUSC)

Keynote Speaker: Professor Anju Joshi, MA, Department of Health, Aging and Society, McMaster University



Panel - Sexual Assault on Campus: Activism and Accountability at UofT and Beyond - Community Knowledge Alliance (CKA)

March 27, 2015 | 6:00pm - 9:00pm | William Doo Auditorium 

Attention to sexual assault on university campuses has renewed over the last two years, inspired by a rise in reported assaults, increased complaints, court cases and survivor protest and performance art on several campuses. In this Community Knowledge Alliance (CKA) event, speakers will provoke us to think meaningfully about what can be done, not just on campus, but collectively among campuses and community organizations.


Workshop - Diversity on a Dime

March 31 | Toronto

Your budget has been slashed, the economy is in a downturn, you’ve had a change in staff. Any of these things can derail your D&I initiatives. What can you do?

This session will focus on how you can keep the momentum going without costing your organization any hard dollars – in other words how to do things on the cheap.

We will share tactics on ways you can do this at a low cost or no cost in areas such as:

  • Creating multiple champions.
  • Leveraging ERGs & Diversity Councils.
  • Events and initiatives.
  • Learning and development.

Participants will walk away with a practical tools to implement inside your organizations to help you keep the momentum going!

For More Information:


Community Consultation - Newcomer Youth Awareness & Inclusion Campaign

April 3, 2015 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm | Mississauga Valley Community Centre

Regional Youth Roundtable hopes to utilize community consultations to gain insight from minority youth (age 14-24) & build strategies to increase inclusion, alongside their media campaign to raise awareness for the minority youth they work with and address their issues.

Contact: Veronica Tang - 


Campaign - #CurateAGM

February 26 - April 12 | AGM

The AGM is launching a campaign called #CurateAGM where they are inviting the public to select works from their permanent art collection for an upcoming exhibition.They'd love to hear what your favourites are! Everything from Norval Morrisseau to established Mississauga legends and all of our GTA favourites. Check it out!

You can vote at this link or on their Facebook album here.

All comments, ideas and thoughts will be posted in the exhibition and all contributors listed as curators to the final selections. 


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The Regional Diversity Roundtable is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation