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Wood Buffalo’s Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity and Equality

Posted on August 21, 2018
By Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

The Regional Municipality (RM) of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, is committed to inclusion, diversity and equality. The RM aims to create a welcoming community where residents work together to implement initiatives that meet the needs of its increasingly diverse population. Its work includes responding to community challenges such as a lack of affordable housing, racism, high costs of living, lack of mental health supports, and isolation.WoodBuffalo diversity

The RM of Wood Buffalo is a member of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) and has adopted the 10 commitments listed by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO as a guideline for its municipal plans. Its Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equality (RACIDE) fosters awareness, advises on the development of initiatives, and provides a voice to groups that tackle issues of inclusion, diversity, and equality. In addition, its Coalitions Creating Equity (CCE) program looks at hate incidents, hate crimes, and human rights, in order to strengthen the capacity of community to respond to these incidents, increase awareness and education on reporting incidents, and develop tools and resources to support survivors.

Wood Buffalo’s 2017-2022 Diversity & Inclusion Community Plan guides programming and initiatives in the community and provides an accountability tool to monitor progress. The plan was developed by and for the community through a dynamic engagement process that included a community Diversity Summit (where more than 100 community stakeholders provided input), 156 process surveys, 19 focus groups (attended by 250 individuals), and 729 responses to a public survey on diversity, inclusion, identity, barriers and strategies.

The engagement process yielded the following community priorities that now guide the diversity and inclusion work of community stakeholders:

  • Communicate information effectively
  • Identify, involve, and engage diverse voices
  • Recognize and celebrate diversity
  • Increase understanding through education
  • Foster trust and collaboration between groups and individuals
  • Reduce barriers to resources and services

For poverty reduction practitioners interested in strengthening diversity, inclusion and equality in their communities, here are a few ideas to get started:WoodBuffalo 2

  • Implement fees scale or low-income discounts for programs and services
  • Provide widespread inclusive advertising about existing services and supports
  • Bring public awareness to the challenges individuals experiencing homelessness face
  • Develop and implement free programming and activities for individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Recognize the diversity of socioeconomic realities in the region
  • Develop & implement health and well-being supports including outreach and addiction services
  • Develop mentorship programs and employment supports for those living in poverty
  • Advocate for affordable childcare services
  • Create one stop shop or wrap around supports
  • Engage individuals living in poverty in community consultations

Wood Buffalo’s Diversity & Inclusion Community Plan supports the development and maintenance of inclusive services and spaces, encourages a cohesive society where everyone is safe and secure, deepens the sense of home and belonging of residents, and improves the attraction and retention of current and future residents.

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Take Your Learning Further;

Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination
Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity and Equality (RACIDE)
Wood Buffalo Diversity & Inclusion Community Plan: 2017-2022
Wood Buffalo Diversity & Inclusion Community Plan: Workbook

Contact: diversity.woodbuffalo@rmwb.ca

Topics:
Cities Deepening Community, Alison Homer, Inclusion


Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

By Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is committed to inclusion, diversity and equality. As part of their mission, they aim to create a welcoming community, serving the needs of an increasingly diverse population. The Wood Buffalo community works together to implement initiatives that help create a more welcoming and inclusive community for all.

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