A message of solidarity and commitment to diversity and inclusion

June 11, 2020

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

At Canadian Immigrant, we tell many heartwarming stories of diversity and integration. We share success stories of newcomers who’ve made Canada their home. We speak to experts in various fields who share their advice based on their own experiences about how newcomers and immigrants can build vibrant new lives in their adopted home. But, at the same time, we don’t shy away from spotlighting challenges and issues here in Canada.

We are committed to drawing attention to and coming together as a community, not just during times like this, with the shocking murder of George Floyd, but talking about critical issues of integration, diversity and inclusion on an ongoing basis.

How can we stand in solidarity in fighting racism and discrimination? How can we empower our communities to share their stories? How can we ensure that we go beyond our commitment to diversity to focus on increasing inclusion – in community and social settings and also, in workplaces?

This does mean change. Often, gender is the only checkbox that is taken into account – and, it did take us a while to get where we are at (and we have far to go!) I have often heard from our community and personally, in boardrooms and meeting rooms, that there needs to be adequate gender representation. But, when the question of diversity and inclusion arises, often there is silence.

I have personally witnessed and heard of conversations around recruitment for senior leadership positions or boards or thought leadership councils: “We are colour blind” or “Immigrants won’t make the cut for senior leadership positions” – how do we deal with these situations? How can we bring these conversations front and centre? How do we ensure a diversity of voices at the table?

What we need to do is to admit that there are issues. And that it’s okay to not have the answers. But we have to start making a conscious commitment to educating ourselves and making change.

It is also clear that we need to focus on inclusion (not just diversity!) in social circles, political arenas and corporate settings. This means making sure that decision makers, senior management, boards, committees and thought leadership councils are all representative of the audiences we serve and the country we live in.

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