Background

Council’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan identifies a 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.

Based on Council direction and stakeholder input, the CDIS will be a document which articulates:

  1. A vision for London as a as a diverse and inclusive community
  2. A commitment which the City of London, Londoners and London organizations can make together towards achieving the vision
  3. Strategies to advance inclusion and diversity in London, as well as strategies to address barriers faced by specific groups

The Strategy will be finalized by March 2017.

In December of 2016, the City put a call out for Londoners to be Community Diversity and Inclusion Champions to create the strategy, and engage the broader community in conversations about making our city more diverse and inclusive.

Champions will work together at three in-person sessions to develop the strategies including establishing a commitment to change and defining a specific list of strategies to make London more inclusive. Following each Champion meeting the outcomes will be sent out to the public for comment.

Summary of Meeting 1

Champions met for the first time on Saturday, January 14 to develop the Vision and Statement of Commitment for the Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

They were asked a series of questions to discuss at their tables that would find key themes to form our Vision and Statement of Commitment.

Draft Vision by Champions:

"London will be an inclusive community that fosters a safe, respectful environment and provides everyone with the opportunity to reach their full potential."

Draft Statement of Commitment by Champions:

The City of London commits to:

  • Championing equity in everything we do, striving towards our vision of London as an inclusive community
  • Empowering Londoners by providing opportunities for everyone to be engaged, ensuring that lived experiences and the voices of marginalized groups are included and respected
  • Identifying and removing barriers experienced by our community

As Londoners and London organizations, we commit to:

  • Standing together towards our vision of London as an inclusive community, and using our voices to hold one another accountable
  • Modeling the community we aspire to be by respecting others, being open to learning, acknowledging our biases, and celebrating the diversity of our community
  • Being courageous allies for our neighbours and fellow Londoners, standing up for one another to ensure we live in a city where everyone belongs

We asked Londoners to review the drafts and let us if they thought we got it right. After reviewing the feedback the Steering Committee developed the following draft statements:

Draft Vision:

London is a diverse and inclusive community that honours, welcomes and accepts all people, a community where we empower each other to eliminate systemic oppressions.

Draft Statement of Commitment:

The City of London commits to:

  • Championing equity in everything we do, striving towards our vision of London as an inclusive community
  • Empowering Londoners by providing opportunities for everyone to be engaged, ensuring that lived experiences and the voices of marginalized groups are included and respected
  • Identifying and removing barriers experienced by our community'

As Londoners and London organizations, we commit to:

  • Standing together towards our vision of London as an inclusive community, and using our voices to hold one another accountable
  • Modeling the community we aspire to be by respecting others, being open to learning, acknowledging our biases, and celebrating the diversity of our community
  • Being courageous allies for our neighbours and fellow Londoners, standing up for one another to ensure we live in a city where everyone belongs

Summary of Meeting 2

Champions met on February 4 to capture ideas that will be used to develop specific strategies for London's Community Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

You can review their draft ideas below in each category.

Summary of Meeting 3

At the Champion meeting Wednesday, March 8, Champions brainstormed the specific challenges and barriers aligned with specific issues and populations and strategies to address them.

The ten groups and issues were the following:

  1. Accessibility
  2. Racism
  3. Anti-Black Racism
  4. Faith based discrimination & Islamophobia
  5. Gender
  6. Indigenous and First Nations
  7. Ageism & intergenerational relations
  8. Immigrants & Newcomers
  9. Income Inequity
  10. LGBT2QI+

The final Champions meeting also included an opportunity to observe the CBC Town Hall ‘Bold Steps’, which included discussions about what the London community is doing to address racism and oppression.