KITCHENER – The planning and strategic initiatives committee endorsed the City of Kitchener Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion. The document formalizes the city’s dedication to the principles of diversity, access, equity and inclusion internally, and also in the programs and services offered to the community.
The commitment confirms priorities in the City of Kitchener Strategic Plan for all residents to have equitable access to, and meaningful inclusion in, the social, economic and cultural fabric of civic life.
“We represent everybody in this community, so affirming the work we’ve already been doing and striving to do better when it comes to diversity only moves us forward,” said Mayor Carl Zehr. “This is a statement of principle regarding inclusiveness by which we can incorporate diversity into everything we do, not just think of it as an afterthought.”
Although much work has already been done by the city, barriers to full participation in the life of the corporation and the community persist. The Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion highlights work that is already being done to increase access and inclusion, urging a more proactive and intentional approach.
The city’s diversity committee also presented a draft work plan (2011-2012), which describes four priority actions and related initiatives to be carried out by staff. The work plan provides a framework for the committee’s work toward meeting the goals of the Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.