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Diversity and Inclusion a Top Priority


A group of more than 140 Community Diversity and Inclusion Champions met on January 14 to begin working on London's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (CDIS).

The first phase of work involved developing a draft vision and statement of commitment for the strategy. A passionate and enthusiastic group worked hard with the help of facilitators Mojdeh Cox and Shand Licorish. They will now engage the broader community in conversations and are seeking input from all Londoners to make sure they on are the right track. Visit engage.london.ca to participate.

“This is a critically important community-led initiative that focuses on making London safe and welcoming for all,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “Answers are going to come from the community, not solely from within the walls of City Hall. This collaborative effort is going to get us closer to reaching our goal and I'm grateful for everyone who has responded and volunteered their time.”

Council’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan identified the need to develop a Community Diversity & Inclusion Strategy as a way to build a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community by supporting all Londoners to feel engaged and involved in our community.

A call was put out in November for Diversity and Inclusion Champions to volunteer to work together to co-develop the CDIS Strategy which includes establishing a vision, commitment to change and defining specific strategies to advance inclusion and diversity in London, as well as strategies to address barriers faced by specific groups. Nearly 200 Londoners came forward to become Champions, committing to meet three times from January to March and engage the broader community between meetings. A steering committee was then developed which includes four representatives from the Diversity Inclusion and Anti-Oppression Advisory Committee (DIAAC) and six CDIS Champions. The Steering Committee is co-chaired by Rifat Hussian a member of DIAAC and Samantha Matty a CDIS Champion. The Committee will meet five times from January to May. An internal City staff team will provide overall support for the entire process.

The valuable public input will be reviewed and incorporated at the next Champion meeting in early February. The next phase of work will be to develop strategies. Then the Champions will engage the broader community and seek feedback on the draft strategies. The CDIS will be finalized by March 2017.