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Diversity

One of the main goals of the WIC initiative is to help municipalities adapt to and celebrate the increasing diversity of Alberta’s population. In this context, diversity refers to attributes that are used to differentiate groups and people from one another.

It means respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, ability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. But it’s more than this. We all bring with us diverse perspectives, work experiences, life styles and cultures. Diversity is a source and driver of cultural vibrancy and innovation

Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It is a about ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential.   In simple terms, diversity is the mix; inclusion is getting the mix to work well together.

While the tools and resources page addresses overall diversity, below we have compiled additional resources  around certain dimensions of Alberta’s diversity. We have not captured all the ways in which diversity is expressed, but hope to provide some starting points and inspiration.

Tools and resources

Safe Harbour: Respect for All
Safe Harbour is a long-standing program that creates opportunities for businesses, institutions, agencies, and entire municipalities to create more welcoming communities. Organizations commit to welcoming clients/customers respectfully and providing an immediate safe place for someone experiencing discrimination. Training is provided to prepare staff to implement these commitments. Sixteen municipalities in Alberta have Safe Harbour programs.

Multiculturalism in Communities: A Guide to Developing and Sustaining Dialogue
Developed by the Government of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, this guide is for leaders and organizations who wish to use dialogue to strengthen the multicultural framework of their community. It offers tools and guidelines for convening diverse communities and increasing knowledge on multiculturalism, racism and welcoming and inclusive communities.

Creating a Culturally Inclusive Organization: A Resource Action Guide
This guide is a product of the fourth and final phase of the Cross Cultural Mental Health (CCMH) project. This resource proposes a framework for change, ideas for success and additional resources, such as a glossary of terms and referenced sources.

This website provides resources on how to create age-friendly businesses and workplaces, including a self-assessment tool for employers.

Municipal Examples

The Vancouver Dialogues Project
“Dialogues between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities in Vancouver” is a project convened by the City of Vancouver in collaboration with diverse community partners. The goal of the project is to build increased understanding and strengthened relations between Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal communities.

Workplace Diversity Statement and Plan
Once you have managed to hire a greater diversity of employees, your municipality needs to know how to maintain a supportive work culture. Arranged under the headings of Attracting, Engaging and Developing, and Celebrating, this plan from the City of London is an example of how a municipality can construct a strategy for supporting workplace diversity and enhancing the work environment.