With the demographics of Niagara shifting to become more diverse, the need for fostering an inclusive and welcoming community is more important than ever.
Research shows that discrimination negatively affects businesses, communities, and economies because it directly impacts an individual’s mental and physical health, as well as access to employment, health care and housing. Research also shows that communities who are welcoming and free from discrimination lead to positive health, well-being and a greater sense of belonging.
Last night, Niagara Regional Council approved its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan (2023-2027) to create a region that is welcoming and inclusive, where diversity and equity are reflected and valued.
The plan was created with input from over 3,000 staff and community members through focus groups and survey responses.
Implementation of Niagara Region’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan is structured around six focus areas:
Each of the focus areas have an internal and external goal with internal and external focused actions, key performance indicators and timelines. Some of the key actions include:
Two years ago, Niagara Region and the 12 local area municipalities joined the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities making a commitment to continue improving municipal practices in Niagara to support social inclusion, establish policies to eradicate all forms of racism, and to promote human rights and diversity.View the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan to learn more about the initiatives for the next five years.
"Since joining the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities in 2020, we have taken steps to demonstrate our commitment to change and growth. We established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee, hired staff resources dedicated to this important work, and have done more engagement in the last four years than the previous decade. While I know there is much work still left to be done, I believe that we have made some real progress that I am eager to capitalize on as we move forward together."
~ Regional Chair, Jim Bradley