The Community Dialogue on Equity in OttawaJanuary 10, 2018
On September 21, 2017, OLIP and the Equity Ottawa partners hosted a Community Dialogue on Equity. The Dialogue brought together 75 organization and community representatives to discuss persistent inequities that immigrants, racialized and Indigenous people face in accessing health, education, employment, social and other services. Participants shared their experiences with addressing institutional and systemic barriers to equity, and considered how to bring about change through collective action.
Participants identified the need for a multi-faceted approach to equity in Ottawa that includes:
- Acknowledging and addressing systemic inequities, through open dialogues about institutional and systemic racism, bias and discrimination;
- Improving equity in organizations, through:
• Collecting and using quantitative and qualitative data disaggregated by immigrant and racialized status, to identify gaps, monitor progress and improve accountability;
• Sharing and implementing measures to enhance equity in human resources, governance, service delivery, community engagement and organizational cultures; and
• Cross-sector learning, information-sharing, action and peer support; and
- Drawing on and cultivating equity leadership at all levels in our community.
OLIP thanks participants for sharing their time, energy and ideas, and for committing to work together to advance equity. Special thanks to the following for their inspiring contributions:
- Patricia Harewood, Dialogue MC and facilitator;
- Traditional Knowledge Keeper Monique Manatch, Michele Penney and Rachelle Metatawabin;
- Mayor’s Office representative DG Stringer;
- Liz Weaver, Tamarack Institute; and
- Panelists Dahabo Ahmed Omer, Debbie Hoffman and Jacqueline Lawrence.
Thanks also to the Dialogue planning committee and Equity partners, with particular mention of the Ottawa Police Service, for making the event possible; to the YMCA-YWCA/RBC Community Room for the venue; and to Krackers Katering for the food service. Thanks also to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of our equity work.
The Dialogue event was an important milestone to our on-going collaborative planning to build capacity for institutional planning for equity.
We welcome other interested organizations and community members to join the effort. Please contact Denise Deby at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.