Consultation on a New Community Action Plan on EquityDecember 16, 2019
During the 2019 Welcoming Ottawa Week, 30 community members and organizational partners joined together at an OLIP convened half-day consultation at the Mary Pitt Building to provide input into a new community action plan to build capacity for equitable outcomes for immigrants and racialized populations in Ottawa, through strengthened organizational responsiveness.
Participants were invited to contribute to one of the subgroup discussions addressing four themes: i) Governance and Leadership; ii) Organizational Culture; iii) Community Engagement; and iv) Data and Progress Measurement. In each discussion, they were asked discuss three key questions:
- What considerations and actions are needed to address inequities resulting from systemic racism?
- How do we measure community and organizational progress on equitable service and participation by all residents, including immigrants and racialized Ottawa residents equitably? What is important to track?
- What can we do – individually, as organizations, and collectively – to create and promote the changes we want to see?
Many excellent ideas and strategies came out of the discussions, including ideas for building accountability for the goals and results related to the action plan. It was suggested that regular and clear reporting be built into the plan and that a matrix of results in different areas be included in the periodic reporting of the Equity partnership; and those Equity partner organizations’ employees be equipped with tools that help them integrate equity into their everyday work. There was also an emphasis on the need for authentic conversations, as uncomfortable as they may be, and to listen deeply with a sense of urgency and concern. Other concrete ideas emerging from this community conversation on equity were:
- To create a framework and a guide for organizations to effectively engage with their constituents, including principles, methodologies and best practice approaches
- To establish and strengthen incentives to encourage organizations to implement equity measures included in the new community action plan and to bring visibility to successes
- To support the establishment of an anti-racism secretariat at the City of Ottawa as proposed by City Councillor Rawlson King.
The Equity Ottawa partnership will incorporate the feedback resulting from the June 30th community consultation and continue to refine the Community Action Plan for Equity in Ottawa. The new Action Plan will serve as a guide for equity partners to plan and implement changes that will strengthen their capacity to achieve equitable outcomes for all members of their constituencies.
If you are interested in joining or supporting this community-wide effort, or finding out more, please contact Denise Deby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Equity Ottawa
Founded in 2012, Equity Ottawa aims to strengthen the capacity of local organizations to improve equitable outcomes for immigrant and racialized communities. It is a partnership of 20 organizations from social services, health, education, child welfare, youth, justice and municipal sectors, and is co-led by OLIP and the Centretown Community Health Centre, with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The Equity Ottawa Partnership is implementing a priority in the Ottawa Immigration Strategy to create relationships and process to support capacity building in how Ottawa organizations respond to the needs of immigrants and racialized populations, and how they incorporate the perspectives and insights of diverse stakeholders through employment, leadership and civic engagement.