All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
The OLIP Council is committed to leadership.  In only a few years, we have a common vision and priorities, and are up to the task of implementing the Ottawa Immigration Strategy.

Salimatou Diallo
OLIP Council Vice Chair, Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa

Teaming with the Riches: OLIP’s Data Action Table

August 6, 2021

By Natalie Serois

For people who have taken a deeper interest in matters of equity in organizations and in social justice more broadly, the collection, analysis and use of sociodemographic data quickly becomes a fundamental requirement for effective practice. However, the idea of asking people about gender, race, origins, or other such markers in order to be more inclusive can seem counter-intuitive to many. How can we be more united by asking people about how we might be different?

OLIP’s Data Action Table has been a remarkable intersectoral collaborative laboratory to do just that: identifying and investing in practices which use sociodemographic data to be fairer and more effective for all. Its recent efforts supporting the adoption anti-racist approaches for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic are invaluable in the immediate. The ways race-based data is being collected and used in this instance show its relevance to the lived experiences and outcomes of those rendered most vulnerable by existing systems. This chapter clearly shows the extent of what can be missed when we allow ourselves to think of questions surrounding this kind of data as abstractions or as an exercise only of use to scholars.

The lessons learned here can also be invaluable to leaders in a wider array of organizations, beyond the public health crisis which must be presently addressed. Here are a few examples of the kind of elements to be mined and disseminated in service of the continued evolution of an equitable and inclusive Ottawa:

  •      How can data collection and use on identity-markers like race be done in ways that do not build on, or inadvertently replicate, the harmful ways of past colonial authorities?
  •      How can the voices of marginalized communities be effectively integrated not only in the initial design of practices but also for collaborative monitoring, assessment and adjustment of their implementation?
  •      What steps must be taken to ensure that the way leaders and practitioners interpret use such data does not become a further source of stigmatization and injustice?

If we take the time to mine all that has been tried and learned, we will glean powerful insights in addressing the concerns, fears, and distortions commonly associated with the use of race-based data – and other forms of sociodemographic data – in the service of our individual and collective flourishing.