Diversity and inclusion are top priorities for Londoners and City Council.
Council’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan identified the need to develop a Community Diversity & Inclusion Strategy (CDIS) as a way to “build a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community” by “supporting all Londoners to feel engaged and involved in our community”.
In November 2016, the City of London asked Londoners to step forward to help build this Strategy. 200 Londoners came forward to be CDIS Champions, committing to meet three times from January to March and engage their community networks between meetings.
A Steering Committee, including representatives from the Diversity Inclusion and Anti-Oppression Advisory Committee (DIAAC) and other CDIS Champions, provided oversight over the entire process.
Londoners and community stakeholders were also provided with several opportunities to provide input.
On Tuesday, August 1 the Steering Committee presented the draft document to Community and Protective Services Committee for endorsement. The strategy then went to City Council for final approval on August 22.
London’s Community Diversity & Inclusion Strategy includes a number of important components:
1. A Vision
London is a diverse and inclusive community that honours, welcomes, and accepts all people; where people have the power to eliminate systemic oppressions.
2. A Statement of Commitment.
The City of London commits to:
- Mandating equity and exemplifying our vision of London as a diverse and inclusive community.
- Learning and honouring the unique histories and lived experiences of all peoples in our community.
- Removing systemic barriers to accessibility as experienced by our community by listening and responding to the voices of those who are marginalized,
As Londoners, we commit to:
- Working together with the City of London towards our vision of London as a diverse and inclusive community.
- Modelling the community we aspire to be: respecting others, learning, acknowledging our biases, and celebrating the diversity and history of our community.
- Being passionate allies with our neighbours and fellow Londoners, and standing up for one another to ensure we live in a city where everyone belongs.
3. Five Priorities:
I. Take concrete steps towards healing and reconciliation
II. Have zero tolerance for oppression, discrimination and ignorance
Ill. Connect and engage Londoners
IV. Remove accessibility barriers to services, information and spaces
V. Remove barriers to employment
4. Strategies. To advance each priority.
5. What We Heard. Captures additional insights received from groups and perspectives through the CDIS process.
6. A Glossary. Provides definitions for key terms discussed during the CDIS process and can help readers navigate this document.
The CDIS is an aspirational document. It reflects a collective effort and interest in building a more inclusive city. It captures the insights of a group of Londoners at a specific point in time. It is not exhaustive, nor is it complete, nor is it perfect. Diversity and inclusion are complex, challenging, ever changing and often highly personal topics. The CDIS does not pretend to reflect every perspective, or include every possible action that the London community could and should take to become more inclusive. Some of the strategies in the CDIS will be easier to implement than others, as some are specific initiatives while others may never be “complete” but instead will require ongoing effort from the entire community.
The CDIS must be a living document which is reviewed and revised on regular basis, as the very act of having deliberate discussions with Londoners about inclusion is critical to making progress.
The CDIS represents a step in the right direction, while appreciating that there will always be steps ahead to make London a truly inclusive community.