Our communities are experiencing growing inequities in resources, access, and power. Indigenous peoples, women, racialized people, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, youth, seniors, newcomers, and LGBTQ communities face barriers when accessing health, employment, and housing.
Municipalities are responsible for the quality of life of their residents. Addressing social inequities to ensure the inclusion of all residents is cost effective at a time of shrinking city budgets. Equity and inclusion create more sustainable cities where people from all walks of life have the right to, and can participate fully in, social, economic, political, and cultural life.
Recognizing diversity within ourselves and others can help us understand how multiple factors influence the way we provide services, design policies and programs, or interact with staff and residents.
There is no quick answer for how to achieve greater equity and inclusion. It is a process without a fixed end point. Champions will experience both success and setbacks. When we become allies, we commit ourselves to using the information we learn to stand beside, and advocate for, those with whom we work. It is not a one-time action. Being an ally is a lifelong learning process of asking questions so as to apply (and re-apply) insights to action.
For a guide, the following resource can be adapted for any setting and community.